BAT Science - Total particulate matter

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Total particulate matter

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Rotary smoking machine

The particulate phase of mainstream cigarette smoke comprises between 4 and 9% of the total weight of cigarette smoke and is made up of many components including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, tobacco specific nitrosamines, phenol and nicotine. Cigarette smoke total particulate matter (TPM), which excludes the gas and vapours in smoke that pass through a Cambridge filter pad on the smoking machine, is the easiest form of cigarette smoke to extract and test. Historically, routine in vitro toxicological assessment of cigarette smoke has been mainly conducted using TPM.

Procedures for generating, collecting and extracting TPM from cigarette smoke have been established over the years as part of a CORESTA led study and have led to an ISO industry standard (ISO 4287:1991).

In brief, cigarettes are machine smoked to ISO standards (35 ml puff volume drawn over 2 seconds, once every minute, ISO 3308: 2000) on a smoke engine. Cigarettes are conditioned for a minimum of 72 hours prior to use (60±3% relative humidity, 22±1°C according to ISO 3402:1999). Particulate matter is collected onto a pre-weighed Cambridge filter pad which is placed in a smoke trap.

       Cambridge filter pad with particulate collected, sectioned and eluted

Filter pads are weighed after smoking to determine the weight of particulates accumulated onto the filter pad. A portion of the filter pad is taken for analysis of water and nicotine content [1,2].The remaining particulate matter can be extracted using a solvent such as methanol, ethanol, or dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO). For our in vitro biological studies we use DMSO as the solvent. The TPM is eluted at a concentration of 24 mg/ml, protected from light and stored in single use aliquots at -20°C for up to 1 month.  The TPM can be diluted to relevant working concentrations (typically 200µg/ml- 0.8µg/ml) and added to traditional submerged cell cultures and also to air-liquid interface cultures apically or basally to assess the effects of TPM using in vitro assays.


  1. ISO 8243:1991 Determination of total and nicotine-free dry particulate matter using a routine analytical smoking machine.
  2. CORESTA recommended method number 23- Determination of total and nicotine-free dry particulate matter using a routine analytical cigarette-smoking machine -determination of total particulate matter and  preparation for water and nicotine measurements (August 1991).
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