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Nanoparticle Interactions in the Environment

Nanomaterials have a relatively larger surface area when compared to the same mass of material produced in a larger form. This can make materials more chemically reactive (in some cases materials that are inert in their larger form are reactive when produced in their nanoscale form) and thus potentially more hazardous to the environment.

Ecotoxicity research at CBNI focuses on providing basic acute and chronic ecotoxicity data in accordance with OECD test guidelines, and comparing these with time-and space-resolved uptake and localisation data, obtained according to the methods described in the visualisation research strand. 

We are also particularly interested in the extension of the protein corona paradigm to incorporate nanoparticle interactions with natural organic matter (NOM) in aquatic systems. Species being assessed include daphnia magna, xenopus and zebra fish.

The long-term goals of the research are to develop a set of assays to quantify the interaction of nanoparticles with aquatic species, that can be used for regulatory purposes.

  • EPA STRIVE project: Visualisation of NP interactions with aquatic species
  • INSPIRE
  • EU FP7 NAMDIATREAM
  • EU FP7 BisNano

Quik, J.T., Lynch, I., Van Hoecke, K., Miermans, C.J., De Schamphelaere, K.A., Janssen, C.R., Dawson, K.A., Stuart, M.A., Van De Meent, D. Effect of natural organic matter on cerium dioxide nanoparticles settling in model fresh water. Chemosphere. 2010, 81, 711-715.

Naha, P.C., Casey, A., Tenuta, T., Lynch, I., Dawson, K.A., Byrne, H.J., Davoren, M. Preparation, characterization of NIPAM and NIPAM/BAM copolymer nanoparticles and their acute toxicity testing using an aquatic test battery. Aquat Toxicol. 2009, 92, 146-154.