Department of Defense Lung Study

Science Center Objects

Between 2003 and the present, 2.2 million U.S. military personnel have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. These deployers have been variably exposed to desert dusts, smoke from burn pits, and urban particulate matter, and some have developed constrictive bronchiolitis. A study was undertaken to determine what, if any, markers were statistically different among biopsied lung tissue sections collected from deployed service members, a normal age- and smoking-matched control group, and an autoimmune control group. The laboratory has designed a method to characterize particulate matter in situ in biopsied lung tissue using scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy. Presently we are designing an experiment to test the accuracy of the in situ measurements by comparing to bulk measurements of particulate matter in the lung.