Inhalation Exposure and Aerosol Sciences

A Hamner animal care technician assembles a nose-only exposure chamber.

The Hamner has dedicated and specialized facilities to study inhaled substances. The facilities include environmental chambers where atmospheres can be maintained under well-controlled conditions for long-term, whole body inhalation of chemicals. A variety of systems are also available to conduct short-term, nose-only exposures to materials such as radioactive compounds or pharmaceuticals. Equipment to generate a wide variety of atmospheres and instruments to monitor and assess the environments are operated by a dedicated and experienced staff. Equipment to produce and characterize aerosols ranging from nanoparticles to dusts is used for inhalation or laboratory studies in conjunction with respiratory and aerosol modeling efforts at The Hamner.

Examples of The Hamner’s specialized inhalation services supporting risk assessment include the capability to evaluate the dosimetry of inhaled xenobiotics in addition to determining their toxicity.  Plethysmography equipment is available for studying exposure effects on individual animal breathing patterns in rodents.  Specialized nose-only exposure systems allow for exposure of animals to occur while simultaneously collecting representative blood samples.  The Hamner can conduct pharmaco- and toxicokinetic studies that may require the use of radiolabeled compounds or stable isotopes.  Nasal uptake, gas uptake, and olfactory transport studies can be performed in rodents.  The data generated from these specialized exposure systems are often used to develop physiologically based pharmacokinetic models.