Evaluation of pulmonary effects of 3-D printer emissions from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene using an air-liquid interface model of primary normal human-derived bronchial epithelial cells

Updated September 26, 2022

September 2022
NIOSH Dataset RD-1044-2022-0


This study investigated the inhalation toxicity of the emissions from 3-D printing with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) filament using an air-liquid interface (ALI) in vitro model. Primary normal human-derived bronchial epithelial cells (NHBEs) were exposed to ABS filament emissions in an ALI for 4 h. The mean and mode diameters of ABS emitted particles in the medium were 175 ± 24 nm and 153 ± 15 nm, respectively. The average particle deposition per surface area of the epithelium was 2.29 × 107 ± 1.47 × 107 particle/cm2, equivalent to an estimated average particle mass of 0.144 ± 0.042 µg/cm2.

Data Collection Methods

  1. Cell culture model
    Primary NHBEs from PromoCell (cat. C-12640, PromoCell GmbH, Germany).
  1. Air-liquid interface cell exposure
    1. Exposure system
      The same exposure system utilized previously to expose Sprague-Dawley rats to emissions generated during real-time printing via a whole-body inhalation exposure system was applied.
    2. Cell exposure treatment
      Four different sets of treatments were employed as follows:
      • ABS-exposed cells,
      • exposure chamber samples,
      • incubator samples,
      • a positive control.
  1. Evaluation of epithelial barrier integrity
  1. Cytotoxicity
    1. Measurement of cell viability
    2. LDH release assay
  1. Measurement of cytokine
    The concentrations of IL-17A, IL-21, IL-22, IL-23, IL-27, IL-31, MIP-3α, IL-17A/F, IL-17B, IL-17D, IL-3, IL-9, GM-CSF, IL-23p40, IL-15, IL-16, IL-17A, IL-1α, IL-5, IL-7, TNF-β, VEGF, IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-12p70, IL-13, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, eotaxin, eotaxin-3, IL-8(HA), IP-10, MCP-1, MCP-4, MDC, MIP-1α, MIP-1β, and TARC (pg/ml) were measured.


Farcas MT, McKinney W, Coyle J, Orandle M, Mandler WK, Stefaniak AB, Bowers L, Battelli L, Richardson D, Hammer MA, Friend SA, Service S, Kashon M, Qi C, Hammond DR, Thomas TA, Matheson J, Qian Y. Evaluation of Pulmonary Effects of 3-D Printer Emissions From Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Using an Air-Liquid Interface Model of Primary Normal Human-Derived Bronchial Epithelial Cells. Int J Toxicol. 2022 Aug;41(4):312-328. doi: 10.1177/10915818221093605. Epub 2022 May 18.

PMID: 35586871


This investigation was supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Project CAN 093909NF and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Mariana T. Farcas (CDC/NIOSH/HELD/PPRB) <woe7@cdc.gov>,

McKinney, Walter (CDC/NIOSH/HELD/PERB) <wdm9@cdc.gov>;

Coyle, Jayme (CDC/NIOSH/HELD/ACIB) <nti2@cdc.gov>;

Orandle, Marlene S. (CDC/NIOSH/HELD/PPRB) <yjj6@cdc.gov>;

Mandler, William (CDC/NIOSH/HELD/PPRB) <oex1@cdc.gov>;

Stefaniak, Aleksandr (CDC/NIOSH/RHD/FSB) <boq9@cdc.gov>;

Bowers, Lauren (CDC/NIOSH/RHD/FSB) <mju3@cdc.gov>;

Battelli, Lori (CDC/NIOSH/HELD/PPRB) <lob0@cdc.gov>;

Richardson, Diana (CDC/NIOSH/HELD/PPRB) <drw9@cdc.gov>;

Hammer, Mary Ann (CDC/NIOSH/HELD/PPRB) <mcy2@cdc.gov>;

Friend, Sherri (CDC/NIOSH/HELD/PPRB) <shf8@cdc.gov>;

Service, Samantha (CDC/NIOSH/HELD/BB) <ppf3@cdc.gov>;

Kashon, Michael L. (CDC/NIOSH/HELD/BB) <mqk1@cdc.gov>;

Qi, Chaolong (CDC/NIOSH/DFSE/EPHB) <hif1@cdc.gov>;

Hammond, Duane R. (CDC/NIOSH/DFSE/EPHB) <ahz0@cdc.gov>;

Thomas, Treye A. (CPSC) <tthomas@cpsc.gov>;

Matheson, Joanna (CPSC) <jmatheson@cpsc.gov>;

Qian, Yong (CDC/NIOSH/HELD/PPRB) <yaq2@cdc.gov>.


For further information contact:
Pathology and Physiology Research Branch (PPRB),
Health Effects Laboratory Division (HELD),
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH),
Morgantown, WV. 304.285.5831