A Review and Toxicological Evaluation of an Environmentally-Friendly Alternative to Silver Nanoparticles Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/vt150p127

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  • Within the past two decades, the rise of nanotechnology has provided various technological and industrial sectors with avenues for significant growth and improvements to existing practices. With the inherent qualities which make materials on the nanoscale unique in behavior and function, there are limitless applications of nanotechnology. One of the predominant issues in the field is the lack of data addressing fate of nanomaterials, particularly in natural conditions. This is primarily due to the complexity of nanomaterial-environmental reactions, as the small size and large reactive surface area of nanomaterials significantly complicate modeling processes. In addition to gaps in the literature concerning fate of nanomaterials, the regulation of nanomaterials are also of concern, as there are no specific provisions in United States law which specifically addresses nanomaterials. Although data gaps exist for many nanomaterials, silver nanoparticles are one of the most well-studied nanomaterials. Due to their antimicrobial properties, silver nanoparticles are used widely in consumer products. It has been demonstrated that silver can continuously leach from the nanoparticle, and can enter wastewater streams, which may pose a risk to sensitive aquatic life. To potentially reduce the burden of silver release from conventional silver nanoparticles, our collaborators engineered a lignin-core particle doped with silver ions and surface stabilized with a polycationic electrolyte layer. Our objective was to determine whether any of the formulation components elicit toxicological responses using embryonic zebrafish. Ionic silver and free surface stabilizer were the most toxic constituents, although when associated separately or together with the lignin core, toxicity of the formulations decreased significantly. Formulations containing silver had a significantly higher prevalence of uninflated swim bladder and yolk sac edema. Comparative analysis of dialyzed samples, which intended to simulate post-consumer use, showed a significant increase in mortality as the samples aged, in addition to eliciting significant increases in types of sub-lethal responses relative to the non-dialyzed samples. ICP-OES/MS analysis indicated that silver ion release from the particle into solution was continuous and the rate of release was component-specific. Overall, our study indicates that the lignin core is an effective alternative to conventional silver nanoparticles for potentially reducing the burden of silver released into the environment.
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