Silver nanoparticle toxicity to Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) and Caenorhabditis elegans: A comparison of mesocosm, microcosm, and conventional laboratory studies

Audrey J. Bone, Cole W. Matson, Benjamin P. Colman, Xinyu Yang, Joel N. Meyer, Richard T. Di Giulio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The use of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in consumer products and industrial applications, as well as their recent detection in waste streams, has created concern about potential impacts on aquatic ecosystems. The effect of complex environmental media on AgNP toxicity was investigated using wetland mesocosms and smaller scale microcosms. Mesocosms were dosed with 2.5mg Ag/L as gum arabic (GA)-coated AgNPs, polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-coated AgNPs, or AgNO3. Water samples were taken from mesocosms 24h after dosing for acute toxicity tests with embryos and larvae of Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Acute toxicity tests were also performed on Atlantic killifish with AgNO3, GA AgNPs, and PVP AgNPs prepared in the laboratory with similar water. For killifish embryos, mesocosm samples were much less toxic than laboratory samples for all types of silver. For larvae, in contrast, all 3 silver mesocosm treatments exhibited toxicity. Interestingly, mesocosm samples of AgNO3 were less toxic than laboratory samples; samples containing GA AgNPs were similar in toxicity, and samples containing PVP AgNPs were more toxic. For C. elegans, results were similar to killifish larvae. Results obtained from the mesocosms were not replicated on the smaller scale of the microcosms. These results indicate that environmental factors unique to the mesocosms acted differentially on AgNO3 to reduce its toxicity in a manner that does not translate to AgNPs for larval fish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-282
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

Keywords

  • Aquatic toxicology
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Mesocosms
  • Microcosms
  • Nanotoxicology

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