Changes to lung surfactant monolayers upon exposure to gas phase ozone observed using X-ray and neutron reflectivity
Exposure to the secondary pollutant ozone in ambient air is associated with adverse health effects when inhaled. In this work we use surface pressure measurements, combined with X-ray and neutron reflection, to observe changes in a layer of lung surfactant at the air water interface when exposed to gas phase ozone. The results demonstrate that the layer reacts with ozone changing its physical characteristics. A slight loss of material, a significant thinning of the layer and increased hydration of the surfactant material is observed. The results support the hypothesis that unsaturated lipids present in lung surfactant are still susceptible to rapid reaction with ozone and the reaction changes the properties of the interfacial layer.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Atmosphere – Biosphere Interactions – Topic Highlight, Impacts of air quality on human health - Topic Highlight and Brilliant Light Sources