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Evaluation of Metal Ions in Electronic Cigarette Aerosol Condensates and Determination of their Effects on Oral Keratinocytes

Principal Investigators: Sarah Michel and Vyomesh Patel

Funding Mechanism:  Centers of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation

ID number:  5U01FD005946-02

Award Date: 8/30/2017

Institution:  University of Maryland School of Pharmacy


Several reports suggest that toxic metal ions and harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) are present in e-cigarette aerosol condensates. It is unknown whether metal ions or the potential presence of HPHCs in e-cigarette aerosol condensates can trigger adverse biological responses in oral keratinocytes, the primary oral cavity cells targeted by potential toxicants. In this study, researchers will develop an integrated approach that will (1) generate and collect e-cigarette aerosols in a manner that mimics user inhalation and (2) uses inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to identify metal ions (e.g., lead, tin, cadmium, iron, copper, zinc) and HPHCs present in aerosol condensates. This approach will include exposing normal oral keratinocytes to aerosol condensates and then assessing their ability to divide and identifying signs of toxicity. Researchers will assess several e-cigarette brands and tobacco- and menthol-flavored e-liquids. This approach will provide a quantitative analysis of the metal ions present in e-cigarette aerosol condensates and oral cavity cells.