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URMC / EHSC / EHSC Cores / EXPAND Core / Inhalation Exposure Facility

Inhalation Exposure Facility

Inhalation Core Facility: Exposure and Analyses in Support of Human Clinical, Animal, and In Vitro Environmental Health Effects Research

Inhalation exposure to airborne particulate matter (PM), ozone, and other components of air pollution is now a well-recognized risk factor for pulmonary, cardiovascular, and central nervous system diseases. It is currently estimated that thousands of deaths per year occur in the United States alone due to poor air quality and this burden is substantially higher in developing countries. 

The lung as a portal of entry way for airborne toxicants has been a focus of research at the University of Rochester since the Manhattan Project in the 1950s.  This inhalation toxicology work on the elements and chemicals involved in the production of atomic weapons laid the ground work for future research at Rochester.  The University has become a national resource in the toxicology of metals and inorganic elements.  The Environmental Health Sciences Center’s Inhalation Exposure Facility, part of the EXPAND Core, was established to focus the combined skills of biology, chemistry, and physics that are critical for inhalation toxicology research.  There are very few inhalation exposure facilities in the world and each has a unique focus.  At Rochester, the specialty area is the toxicology of ultrafine and nanoparticles.

The Inhalation Exposure Facility combines both animal and human exposure capacity as two adjoining yet physically distinct entities, providing a unique opportunity to expose humans, rodents, and cells to the same aerosols as well as laboratory generated surrogate model particles. This allows us to design bi-directional translational studies by evaluating in more detail mechanisms of effects observed in controlled human exposure studies; and vice versa, validating effects in humans that have been found in animal models.

Our Mission

  • Conduct inhalation exposures to aerosols (particles, liquids, gases, mixtures) that are relevant to the basic science, environmental, and clinical research efforts of the University (and outside the University)
  • Provide expertise in generating and characterizing exposure atmospheres for in vivo and in vitro studies
  • Develop new exposure methods
  • Assess tissue dosimetry