Comparative Toxicity Testing of Dust Samples Using High-Throughput Analyses

The basic premise of our pilot project, “Comparative Toxicity Testing of Dust Samples Using High Throughput Analyses” was to use the xCELLingence Real Time Cell Analyzer (RTCA) to evaluate and compare human airway epithelial cell toxicity in response to dust. Over the term of the pilot study, we successfully compared dust collected from a site associated with toxic metals (the Iron King Mine) and “control” dust (collected from the University of Arizona). We found limited effects on cytotoxicity from the control dust and a concentration-dependent cytotoxicity from dust collected from the Iron King Mine. Further, we were able to show that dust exposures at levels that did not lead to cytotoxicity did negatively affect cellular signaling, indicative of detrimental, albeit sub-cytotoxic, effects on the airway epithelium. We have used this data as part of a submitted NIH application (UA Superfund competitive renewal, project 2).