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Aluminum and aluminum oxide nanomaterials uptake after oral exposure - a comparative study

  • Krause, Benjamin C.1
  • Kriegel, Fabian L.1
  • Rosenkranz, Daniel1
  • Dreiack, Nadine1
  • Tentschert, Jutta1
  • Jungnickel, Harald1
  • Jalili, Pegah2
  • Fessard, Valerie2
  • Laux, Peter1
  • Luch, Andreas1
  • 1 German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), Department of Chemical and Product Safety, Max-Dohrn-Straße 8-10, Berlin, 10589, Germany , Berlin (Germany)
  • 2 ANSES, French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety, Fougères Laboratory, 10B rue Claude Bourgelat, Fougères Cedex, 35306, France , Fougères Cedex (France)
Published Article
Scientific Reports
Springer Nature
Publication Date
Feb 14, 2020
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-59710-z
Springer Nature


The knowledge about a potential in vivo uptake and subsequent toxicological effects of aluminum (Al), especially in the nanoparticulate form, is still limited. This paper focuses on a three day oral gavage study with three different Al species in Sprague Dawley rats. The Al amount was investigated in major organs in order to determine the oral bioavailability and distribution. Al-containing nanoparticles (NMs composed of Al0 and aluminum oxide (Al2O3)) were administered at three different concentrations and soluble aluminum chloride (AlCl3·6H2O) was used as a reference control at one concentration. A microwave assisted acid digestion approach followed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis was developed to analyse the Al burden of individual organs. Special attention was paid on how the sample matrix affected the calibration procedure. After 3 days exposure, AlCl3·6H2O treated animals showed high Al levels in liver and intestine, while upon treatment with Al0 NMs significant amounts of Al were detected only in the latter. In contrast, following Al2O3 NMs treatment, Al was detected in all investigated organs with particular high concentrations in the spleen. A rapid absorption and systemic distribution of all three Al forms tested were found after 3-day oral exposure. The identified differences between Al0 and Al2O3 NMs point out that both, particle shape and surface composition could be key factors for Al biodistribution and accumulation.

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