Identification and quantification of gold engineered nanomaterials and impaired fluid transfer across the rat placenta via ex vivo perfusion

J. N. D'Errico, C. Doherty, S. B. Fournier, N. Renkel, S. Kallontzi, M. Goedken, L. Fabris, B. Buckley, P. A. Stapleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Development and implementation of products incorporating nanoparticles are occurring at a rapid pace. These particles are widely utilized in domestic, occupational, and biomedical applications. Currently, it is unclear if pregnant women will be able to take advantage of the potential biomedical nanoproducts out of concerns associated with placental transfer and fetal interactions. We recently developed an ex vivo rat placental perfusion technique to allow for the evaluation of xenobiotic transfer and placental physiological perturbations. In this study, a segment of the uterine horn and associated placenta was isolated from pregnant (gestational day 20) Sprague-Dawley rats and placed into a modified pressure myography vessel chamber. The proximal and distal ends of the maternal uterine artery and the vessels of the umbilical cord were cannulated, secured, and perfused with physiological salt solution (PSS). The proximal uterine artery and umbilical artery were pressurized at 80 mmHg and 50 mmHg, respectively, to allow countercurrent flow through the placenta. After equilibration, a single 900 μL bolus dose of 20 nm gold engineered nanoparticles (Au-ENM) was introduced into the proximal maternal artery. Distal uterine and umbilical vein effluents were collected every 10 min for 180 min to measure placental fluid dynamics. The quantification of Au-ENM transfer was conducted via inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Overall, we were able to measure Au-ENM within uterine and umbilical effluent with 20 min of material infusion. This novel methodology may be widely incorporated into studies of pharmacology, toxicology, and placental physiology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109148
JournalBiomedicine and Pharmacotherapy
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019


  • Engineered nanomaterial
  • Gold nanomaterials
  • ICP-MS
  • Organ perfusion
  • Placenta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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