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Sol-gel transition induced by alumina nanoparticles in a model pulmonary surfactant

Abstract : Inhaled airborne particles smaller than 100 nm entering the airways have been shown to deposit in significant amount in the alveolar region of the lungs. The interior of the alveoli is covered with a ~ 1 µm thick lining fluid, called pulmonary surfactant. Inhaled nanoparticles are susceptible to interact with the lung fluid and modify pulmonary functions. Here we evaluate the structural and rheological properties of the pulmonary surfactant substitute Curosurf® which is administered to premature babies for the treatment of respiratory distress syndrome. Curosurf® is considered a reliable model of endogenous pulmonary surfactant in terms of composition, structure and function. Using active microrheology based on magnetically actuated wires, we find that Curosurf® dispersions exhibit a Newtonian behavior at lipid concentration from 0 to 80 g L−1, and that the viscosity follows the Krieger-Dougherty law observed for a wide variety of colloids. Upon addition of 40 nm alumina nanoplatelets, a significant change of the Curosurf® rheology is noticed. The dispersions then enter a soft solid phase characterized by an infinite viscosity and a non-zero equilibrium elastic modulus. The sol-gel transition induced by the nanoparticles is interpreted as the result of the alumina/vesicle interaction, which are illustrated by transmission electron microscopy. It also suggests a potential toxicity associated with the modification of the lung fluid structural and dynamical properties.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 5:23:23 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 20, 2022 - 12:02:06 PM

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Jean-François Berret, Fanny Mousseau, Rémi Le Borgne, Evdokia Oikonomou. Sol-gel transition induced by alumina nanoparticles in a model pulmonary surfactant. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, Elsevier, 2022, 646, pp.128974. ⟨10.1016/j.colsurfa.2022.128974⟩. ⟨hal-03665457⟩

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