Science Inventory

Changes in silver nanoparticles exposed to human synthetic stomach fluid: Effectsof particle size and surface chemistry


Mwilu, S., A. El Badawy, K. Bradham, C. Nelson, D. Thomas, K. Scheckel, T. Tolaymat, M. Longhou, AND K. Rogers. Changes in silver nanoparticles exposed to human synthetic stomach fluid: Effectsof particle size and surface chemistry. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. Elsevier BV, AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, 447(1):90-98, (2013).


The National Exposure Research Laboratory′s (NERL′s) Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences Division (HEASD) conducts research in support of EPA′s mission to protect human health and the environment. HEASD′s research program supports Goal 1 (Clean Air) and Goal 4 (Healthy People) of EPA′s strategic plan. More specifically, our division conducts research to characterize the movement of pollutants from the source to contact with humans. Our multidisciplinary research program produces Methods, Measurements, and Models to identify relationships between and characterize processes that link source emissions, environmental concentrations, human exposures, and target-tissue dose. The impact of these tools is improved regulatory programs and policies for EPA.


The significant rise in consumer products and applications utilizing the antibacterial properties of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) has increased the possibility of human exposure. The mobility and bioavailability of AgNPs through the ingestion pathway will depend, in part, on properties such as particle size and the surface chemistries that will influence their physical and chemical reactivities during transit through the gastrointestinal tract. This study investigates the interactions between synthetic stomach fluid and AgNPs of different sizes and with different capping agents. Changes in morphology, size and chemical composition were determined during a 30 min exposure to synthetic human stomach fluid (SSF) using Absorbance Spectroscopy, High Resolution Transmission Electron and Scanning Electron Microscopy (TEM/SEM), Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), and Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA). AgNPs exposed to SSF were found to aggregate significantly and also released ionic silver which physically associated with the particle aggregates as silver chloride. Generally, the smaller sized AgNPs (< 10 nm) showed higher rates of aggregation and physical transformation than larger particles (75 nm). Polyvinylpyrrolidone (pvp)-stabilized AgNPs prepared in house behaved differently in SSF than particles obtained from a commercial source despite having similar surface coating and size distribution characteristics.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 03/01/2013
Record Last Revised: 10/25/2013
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 253498