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Dispersion of nanomaterials in aqueous media: Towards protocol optimization

: Kaur, Inder; Ellis, Laura-Jayne; Romer, Isabella; Tantra, Ratna; Carriere, Marie; Allard, Soline; Mayne-L'Hermite, Martine; Minelli, Caterina; Unger, Wolfgang; Potthoff, Annegret; Rades, Steffi; Valsami-Jones, Eugenia

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Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE. Online resource (2017), Nr.130, Art. e56074, 23 S.
ISSN: 1940-087X
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IKTS ()

The sonication process is commonly used for de-agglomerating and dispersing nanomaterials in aqueous based media, necessary to improve homogeneity and stability of the suspension. In this study, a systematic step-wise approach is carried out to identify optimal sonication conditions in order to achieve a stable dispersion. This approach has been adopted and shown to be suitable for several nanomaterials (cerium oxide, zinc oxide, and carbon nanotubes) dispersed in deionized (DI) water. However, with any change in either the nanomaterial type or dispersing medium, there needs to be optimization of the basic protocol by adjusting various factors such as sonication time, power, and sonicator type as well as temperature rise during the process. The approach records the dispersion process in detail. This is necessary to identify the time points as well as other above-mentioned conditions during the sonication process in which there may be undesirable changes, such as damage to the particle surface thus affecting surface properties. Our goal is to offer a harmonized approach that can control the quality of the final, produced dispersion. Such a guideline is instrumental in ensuring dispersion quality repeatability in the nanoscience community, particularly in the field of nanotoxicology.