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Characterizing the behavior, uptake, and toxicity of NM300K silver nanoparticles in Caenorhabditis elegans

Journal article
Authors Merethe Kleiven
Lisa M. Rossbach
Julian A. Gallego-Urrea
Dag A. Brede
Deborah H. Oughton
Claire Coutris
Published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume 37
Issue 7
Pages 1799-1810
ISSN 07307268
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of marine sciences
Pages 1799-1810
Language en
Keywords Bioaccumulation, Characterization, Nanoparticles, Reproducibility, Toxic effects
Subject categories Environmental chemistry, Heavy metals and other metals, Environmental toxicology


© 2018 SETAC. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism, we addressed the potential linkage among toxicity of NM300K Ag nanoparticles (AgNPs), their particle size distribution, and the presence of dissolved Ag in the test media. Of the 3 endpoints assessed (growth, fertility, and reproduction), reproduction was the most sensitive, with the 50% effect concentration (EC50) ranging from 0.26 to 0.84mgAgL -1 and 0.08 to 0.11mgAgL -1 for NM300K and AgNO 3 , respectively. Silver uptake by C. elegans was similar for both forms of Ag, whereas bioaccumulation was higher in AgNO 3 exposure. The observed differences in toxicity between NM300K and AgNO 3 did not correlate with bioaccumulated Ag, which suggests that toxicity is a function of the type of exposing agent (AgNPs vs AgNO 3 ) and its mode of action. Before addition of the food source (Escherichia coli), size fractionation revealed that dissolved Ag comprised 13 to 90% and 4 to 8% of total Ag in the AgNO 3 and NM300K treatments, respectively. No dissolved Ag was detectable in the actual test media due to immediate Ag adsorption to bacteria. The results of the present study indicate that information on behavior and characterization of exposure conditions is essential for nanotoxicity studies.

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