A determination method of pristine multiwall carbon nanotubes in rat lungs after intratracheal instillation exposure by combustive oxidation-nondispersive infrared analysis.
ABSTRACT This paper describes a method for determination of multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in rat lungs after intratracheal instillation exposure. The MWCNTs were quantitatively decomposed to CO(2) by combustive oxidation and were then determined by non-dispersive infrared analysis. Samples were pretreated by acid digestion, muffle ashing and in situ preheating to remove interferences due to coexisting biological carbon from the lung tissue sample, while preserving the MWCNTs as in its their original form. The preservation was confirmed by transmission electron microscopic observation of the pretreated samples of exposed lung tissues and by the fact that the recoveries of MWCNTs spiked to the lung tissues were close to 100%. The detection limit for MWCNTs obtained by the proposed method was 0.30 μg and the repeatability as expressed by the relative standard deviation was 5.6% (n=4). The method was sufficiently sensitive and precise to apply to real samples of rat lung to investigate the in vivo persistence of intratracheally instilled MWCNTs. To our knowledge, this is the first report of this type of sample pretreatment and direct determination of pristine MWCNTs without modification or tagging. Conventional indirect methods use tagging with other compounds or metal impurities in the CNTs for detection, and the detachment of these tags can increase uncertainties in the determination of the CNTs. The tags can also change how the CNTs persist in vivo, which can lead to an incorrect understanding of the persistence of pristine CNTs in vivo.