Reducing Environmental Toxicity of Silver Nanoparticles through Shape Control

Danielle E. Gorka, Joshua S. Osterberg, Carley A. Gwin, Benjamin P. Colman, Joel N. Meyer, Emily S. Bernhardt, Claudia K. Gunsch, Richard T. DiGulio, Jie Liu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    The use of antibacterial silver nanomaterials in consumer products ranging from textiles to toys has given rise to concerns over their environmental toxicity. These materials, primarily nanoparticles, have been shown to be toxic to a wide range of organisms; thus methods and materials that reduce their environmental toxicity while retaining their useful antibacterial properties can potentially solve this problem. Here we demonstrate that silver nanocubes display a lower toxicity toward the model plant species Lolium multiflorum while showing similar toxicity toward other environmentally relevant and model organisms (Danio rerio and Caenorhabditis elegans) and bacterial species (Esherichia coli, Bacillus cereus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) compared to quasi-spherical silver nanoparticles and silver nanowires. More specifically, in the L. multiflorum experiments, the roots of silver nanocube treated plants were 5.3% shorter than the control, while silver nanoparticle treated plant roots were 39.6% shorter than the control. The findings here could assist in the future development of new antibacterial products that cause less environmental toxicity after their intended use.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)10093-10098
    Number of pages6
    JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
    Volume49
    Issue number16
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 6 2015

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