Ecotoxicity of bare and coated silver nanoparticles in the aquatic midge, Chironomus riparius

Sun Young Park, Jiwoong Chung, Benjamin P. Colman, Cole W. Matson, Younghun Kim, Byung Cheon Lee, Phil Je Kim, Kyunghee Choi, Jinhee Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Although sediment is generally considered to be the major sink for nanomaterials in aquatic environments, few studies have addressed the ecotoxicity of nanomaterials in the presence of sediment. In the present study, the ecotoxicity of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) with a range of organic coatings was examined in a freshwater sediment-dwelling organism, Chironomus riparius, using acute and chronic ecotoxicity endpoints, including molecular indicators. The toxicity of AgNPs coated with different organic materials, such as polyvinylpyrrolidone, gum arabic, and citrate, to C. riparius was compared with that of bare-AgNPs and AgNO3 (ionic silver). Total silver concentration was also measured to monitor the behavior of the AgNPs in water and sediment and to determine how ion dissolution affects the toxicity of all AgNPs. The coated- and bare-AgNPs caused DNA damage and oxidative stress-related gene expression. In addition, the bare-AgNPs and AgNO3 had a significant effect on development and reproduction. The surface coatings generally mitigated the toxicity of AgNPs to C. riparius, which can be explained by the reduced number of ions released from coated-AgNPs. Citrate-AgNPs caused the most significant alteration at the molecular level, but this did not translate to higher-level effects. Finally, comparing previously conducted studies on AgNP-induced gene expression without sediments, the authors show that the presence of sediment appears to mitigate the toxicity of AgNPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2023-2032
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Genotoxicity
  • Invertebrate toxicology
  • Nanoecotoxicology
  • Sediment toxicity


Dive into the research topics of 'Ecotoxicity of bare and coated silver nanoparticles in the aquatic midge, Chironomus riparius'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this