Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Industrial Hygiene


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Jeremy Slagley, PhD


Nanotechnology promises to be the defining technology of the 21st century. At an annual investment of $1B, it provides significant contributions to manufacturing, medicine, energy conservation, and the environment. Nanoparticles are structures with at least one dimension in the 1 to 100 nanometer (nm) range. DoD and US Air Force interest in aluminum nanoparticles (AL NPs) stems from its ability to enhance combustion jet fuel, thus increasing fuel efficiency. The addition of AL NPs to JP-8 may pose a unique dermal hazard to aircraft maintenance workers. There is no published data on AL NP toxicity effects on human skin. This research used in vitro techniques to determine the cytotoxicity of AL NPs, sized 50, 80, and 120 nm, on human keratinocytes. AL NPs at concentrations 10 - 10,000 micrograms/mL and 24-hour exposure did not have a negative effect on cell viability, as assessed by membrane leakage, metabolic function, and reactive oxygen species generation. Keratinocyte expression of proinflammatory interleukins-1alpha and -8 was quantified to determine if AL NPs induced precursor cytokines for irritant contact or sensitizer response dermatitis. After 24-hour exposure to AL NPs, keratinocytes expressed significant concentrations of IL-8, 24 - 100 times greater than IL-1alpha, indicating that AL NPs may induce sensitizer response dermatitis.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number