Enhanced Viscoelasticity of Human Cystic Fibrotic Sputum Correlates with Increasing Microheterogeneity in Particle Transport

Michelle Dawson, Denis Wirtz, Justin S Hanes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Current biochemical characterizations of cystic fibrosis (CF) sputum do not address the high degree of microheterogeneity in the rheological properties of the mucosal matrix and only provide bulk-average particle diffusion coefficients. The viscoelasticity of CF sputum greatly reduces the diffusion rates of colloidal particles, limiting the effectiveness of gene delivery to underlying lung cells. We determine diffusion coefficients of hundreds of individual amine-modified and carboxylated polystyrene particles (diameter 100-500 nm) embedded in human CF sputum with 5 nm and 33 ms of spatiotemporal resolution. High resolution multiple particle tracking is used to calculate the effective viscoelastic properties of CF sputum at the micron scale, which we relate to its macroscopic viscoelasticity. CF sputum microviscosity, as probed by 100- and 200-nm particles, is an order of magnitude lower than its macroviscosity, suggesting that nanoparticles dispersed in CF sputum are transported primarily through lower viscosity pores within a highly elastic matrix. Multiple particle tracking provides a non-destructive, highly sensitive method to quantify the high heterogeneity of the mucus pore network. The mean diffusion coefficient becomes dominated by relatively few but fast-moving particles as particle size is reduced from 500 to 100 nm. Neutrally charged particles with a diameter

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50393-50401
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume278
Issue number50
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 12 2003

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Viscoelasticity
Sputum
Cystic Fibrosis
Polystyrenes
Charged particles
Amines
Genes
Particle size
Viscosity
Mucus
Nanoparticles
Particle Size
Lung

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

Cite this

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abstract = "Current biochemical characterizations of cystic fibrosis (CF) sputum do not address the high degree of microheterogeneity in the rheological properties of the mucosal matrix and only provide bulk-average particle diffusion coefficients. The viscoelasticity of CF sputum greatly reduces the diffusion rates of colloidal particles, limiting the effectiveness of gene delivery to underlying lung cells. We determine diffusion coefficients of hundreds of individual amine-modified and carboxylated polystyrene particles (diameter 100-500 nm) embedded in human CF sputum with 5 nm and 33 ms of spatiotemporal resolution. High resolution multiple particle tracking is used to calculate the effective viscoelastic properties of CF sputum at the micron scale, which we relate to its macroscopic viscoelasticity. CF sputum microviscosity, as probed by 100- and 200-nm particles, is an order of magnitude lower than its macroviscosity, suggesting that nanoparticles dispersed in CF sputum are transported primarily through lower viscosity pores within a highly elastic matrix. Multiple particle tracking provides a non-destructive, highly sensitive method to quantify the high heterogeneity of the mucus pore network. The mean diffusion coefficient becomes dominated by relatively few but fast-moving particles as particle size is reduced from 500 to 100 nm. Neutrally charged particles with a diameter",
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