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Detection and Characterization of SiO2 and TiO2 Nanostructures in Dietary Supplements

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journal contribution
posted on 01.04.2015, 00:00 by Jin-Hee Lim, Patrick Sisco, Thilak K. Mudalige, Germarie Sánchez-Pomales, Paul C. Howard, Sean W. Linder
Nanomaterials are beginning to enter our daily lives through various consumer products as the result of technology commercialization. The development of methodologies to detect the presence of nanomaterials in consumer products is an essential element in understanding our exposure. In this study, we have developed methods for the separation and characterization of silicon dioxide (SiO2) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanostructures in dietary supplements marketed in products specifically targeted for women. A total of 12 commercial products claiming the inclusion of SiO2 and TiO2, but not making any claims regarding the particle size, were randomly selected for purchase through various retailers. To isolate nanostructures from these products, a simple methodology that combines acid digestion and centrifugation was utilized. Once isolated, the chemical composition, size, morphology, and crystal structure were characterized using mass spectroscopy, light scattering, electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction techniques. SiO2 and TiO2 nanostructures were detected in 11 of 12 products using these methods. Many of the isolated nanoscale materials showed a high degree of aggregation; however, identified individual structures had at least one dimension below 100 nm. These robust methods can be used for routine monitoring of commercial products for nanoscale oxides of silica and titanium.