Automated Exposure Station Extended Version

Optional External or Integrated Dilution System Optional Abrasive Dust Generator

The picture shows the setup for C3 Carbon Concrete Composite project. It contains the VITROCELL® Abrasive Dust Generator, the VITROCELL® external dilution system and the extended VITROCELL® Automated Exposure Station.

The Abrasive Dust Generator provides an aerosol to the dilution system derived from the cutting process of e.g. carbon concrete. It is suitable to generate an aerosol from cutting and grinding processes of a range of different materials and workpieces.

Individual dilution ratios can be adjusted at the external dilution system. In the following step the aerosol is guided the Automated Exposure Station where cells are exposed at the air/liquid interface. Additional analytical modules for dose determination via Quartz Crystal Microbalances, TEM analysis as well well as online mass spectrometry of the gas phase can be integrated.


Available adaptor set for:

  • 6-well sized inserts
  • 12-well sized inserts
  • 24-well sized inserts

Inlet with particle separation

A size selective inlet separates different fractions of aerosol according to the installed nozzle plate. The Inlet is adjustable to PM1, PM2,5 and PM10.

Exposure modules

The base module accepts up to 6 cell culture inserts. Each cell culture compartment has an independent media reservoir. A transparent control window facilitates the external monitoring of media levels. The temperature is controlled by means of a water bath; therefore an additional incubator is not required during the experiment. The temperature for each module is individually monitored. The base module is made of electropolished stainless steel. It is autoclavable at 121° C (250° F) for 20 min.

Aerosol exposure top

The aerosol inlet stream flows through specifically shaped inlets which are optimized for electrostatic deposition. They are made of stainless steel with VITROGLIDE surface treatment. The stainless steel / VITROGLIDE inlets are specifically designed for the work with nanoparticles. The aerosol flow rate is controlled by mass flow controllers, with data recording by the central data management system.

Isokinetic sampling system

The aerosol is guided into the central reactor of the system where it is humidified if needed. Distribution to the modules via isokinetic sampling probes enables high reproducibility and uniformity of results.

Electrostatic deposition enhancement

A significant increase in deposition efficiency is achieved by applying an adjustable electrical field between aerosol inlet and cell culture.

Integrated Quartz Crystal Microbalance

The microbalance sensor is capable of measuring the deposition in the module at a resolution of 10 nanogram/cm2 per second. The sensors can be placed in all media compartments to validate the mass deposition in the module. After validation they can be removed so that the experiment can be carried out using the cell culture inserts. One microbalance sensor can remain in the module to monitor the dose ­during exposure. The data is displayed online using the VITROCELL® Monitor Software.

Touch-screen operation

All functions such as aerosol and vacuum flows, temperature, humidity automatic leak test, applied voltage for electrostatic deposition enhancement, start/end of the experiment can be edited using a large 15” touch-screen display. The central data management system provides valuable information on experiment parameters with user-friendly charts. The system can be networked and has a remote service module.


The keyboard can be used alternatively to the touch screen.

Dilution System

To provide different aerosol concentrations, a dilution system can be integrated into the station. The dilution ratios can be adjusted between 1:2 to 1:10

Analytic Modules

To analyse the aerosol at the same location than cell cutures, separate analytical modules can be integrated. They feature special inserts for TEM-Imaging, mass spectrometry of the gas phase as well as measurements of particle depostion via Quartz Crystal Microbalances.

Time based Shut Down

The time based shut down feature offers the possibility to adjust dose by switching off the different levels at different time points. Defining dose by different exposure times is a valuable alternative if a dilution system can not be integrated.


  • Direct aerosol sampling
  • Size selective inlet
  • Automated process
  • Temperature controlled system
  • Integrated humidification of aerosol
  • Aerosol flow control by mass flow controllers
  • Touch-screen display
  • Analytical modules for TEM and mass spectrometry
  • Optional external or integrated dilution system
  • Central data management system
  • Online dose measurement
  • Electrostatic deposition enhancement
  • Integrated vacuum pump
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Automated Exposure Station Extended Version

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