Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Landmark Study on Nanomaterials and the Environment

Abstract:
University of South Carolina study finds manmade nanoparticles could contaminate marine food web

Landmark Study on Nanomaterials and the Environment

Posted on June 29th, 2009

Too tiny to see or touch, manmade nanoparticles are increasingly becoming a byproduct of industry and chemical and pharmaceutical technology.

But once these super small materials enter the water supply, do they reach coastal areas and enter marshes and tidal zones, the complex environments where shellfish and finfish grow?

Researchers at the University of South Carolina's Nanocenter, working with scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Charleston, examined whether gold nanorods could readily pass from water to the marine food web.

Their findings, published online at Nature Nanotechnology, suggest that nanoparticles move easily into the marine food web and are absorbed in grasses, trapped in biofilms and consumed by filter feeders, such as clams.

"This is the first study to report on the fate of gold nanoparticles in a complex ecosystem containing sediments, biofilms, grasses, microscopic organisms, filter feeders and omnivores," said environmental chemist Dr. John L. Ferry of the University of South Carolina.

The gold nanorods were used in the study because of their ability to be traced, he said.

For the experiment, scientists at NOAA's Coastal Center for Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research created three estuarine mesocosms, experimental enclosures replicating a coastal ecosystem. In developing the coastal "labs," NOAA scientists constructed a tidal marsh creek, containing natural, unfiltered water from Wadmalaw Island; planted Spartina grass in sedimnents; and added clams, mud snails and grass shrimp. The gold nanorods were synthesized by researchers at USC and introduced into the ecosystems. At the end of the experiment, the USC team developed the techniques necessary to measure the fate of the nanoparticles and found that clams and biofilms accumulated the most.

"As the first experiment of its kind, we really didn't know what to expect," said Dr. Geoff Scott, (Director of Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research NOAA/NOS), who collaborated with Dr. Michael Fulton, (Estuaries and Land Use Acting Branch Chief, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular research/NOAA) . "This study enabled us to understand how these nanomaterials were transported through the ecosystem."

The research has implications for all coastal environments and will provide a baseline for future studies on the environmental impact of nanomaterials, Scott said.

The study is significant because it shows that manmade nanoparticles can enter the estuarine food and ultimately could find their way into the shellfish and fish that humans eat, said Ferry.

"This study is a road map for where we go next," he said. "We did not look at what happens ‘up the food chain.'"

"This landmark study points towards things to come in the near future", say Tom Vogt, Director of the NanoCenter at the University of South Carolina, "when we will enlarge our national and international R&D footprint even more by developing the recently endowed Center of Economic Excellence for Nanoenvironmental Research and Risk Assessment."

####

About University of South Carolina
The NanoCenter is the University’s focal point for science and engineering studies of nanometer-scale structures, their unique properties, and their integration into functional units. It fosters multidisciplinary research and education efforts involving faculty whose combined expertise spans the disciplines of a comprehensive research university, including the arts and sciences, engineering, and medicine, as well as other professional schools.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
120 Sumwalt College
University of South Carolina
1212 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208
803.777.9927

Copyright © University of South Carolina

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Chemistry

Getting closer to porous, light-responsive materials: A new flexible material changes its porous nature when exposed to light July 27th, 2017

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials: All-dielectric nanophotonics: The quest for better materials and fabrication techniques July 22nd, 2017

Tokyo Institute of Technology research: Antiaromatic molecule displays record electrical conductance July 19th, 2017

Harnessing light to drive chemical reactions July 19th, 2017

Preparing for Nano

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years: Targeted medicine deliveries and increased energy efficiency are just two of many ways October 26th, 2016

Searching for a nanotech self-organizing principle May 1st, 2016

Nanotechnology is changing everything from medicine to self-healing buildings: Nanotechnology is so small it's measured in billionths of metres, and it is revolutionising every aspect of our lives April 2nd, 2016

Durnham University's DEEPEN project comes to a close September 26th, 2012

Announcements

Physicists gain new insights into nanosystems with spherical confinement: Enormous potential for the targeted delivery of pharmaceutical agents and the creation of tailored nanoparticles July 27th, 2017

Strange electrons break the crystal symmetry of high-temperature superconductors: Brookhaven Lab scientists discover spontaneous voltage perpendicular to applied current that may help unravel the mystery of high-temperature superconductors July 27th, 2017

Getting closer to porous, light-responsive materials: A new flexible material changes its porous nature when exposed to light July 27th, 2017

First Capacitive Transducer with 13nm Gap July 27th, 2017

Food/Agriculture/Supplements

Probiotics: Novel biosynthetic tool to develop metallic nanoparticles: This research article by Dr. Nida Akhtar et al has been published in Recent Patents on Drug Delivery & Formulation, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2017 July 20th, 2017

New technology could offer cheaper, faster food testing: Specialized droplets interact with bacteria and can be analyzed using a smartphone April 7th, 2017

Meta-lenses bring benchtop performance to small, hand-held spectrometer: Game-changing nanostructure-based lenses allow smaller devices, increased functionality February 9th, 2017

PCATDES Starts Field Testing of Photocatalytic Reactors in South East Asia December 28th, 2016

Environment

Researchers revolutionize vital conservation tool with use of gold nanotechnology and lasers: Cryopreservation study results have sweeping implications for wildlife conservation and human health July 15th, 2017

Bacteria-coated nanofiber electrodes clean pollutants in wastewater July 1st, 2017

Nanostructures taste the rainbow: Combining nanophotonics and thermoelectrics, engineers at Caltech generate materials capable of distinguishing between tiny differences in wavelengths of light June 30th, 2017

New photoacoustic technique detects gases at parts-per-quadrillion level June 30th, 2017

Personal Care/Cosmetics

Programmable materials find strength in molecular repetition May 23rd, 2016

Common nanoparticle has subtle effects on oxidative stress genes May 11th, 2016

NRL reveals novel uniform coating process of p-ALD April 21st, 2016

New ORNL method could unleash solar power potential March 16th, 2016

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Tests show no nanotubes released during utilisation of nanoaugmented materials June 9th, 2017

NanoMONITOR shares its latest developments concerning the NanoMONITOR Software and the Monitoring stations April 21st, 2017

NIST updates 'sweet' 1950s separation method to clean nanoparticles from organisms January 27th, 2017

Nanoparticle exposure can awaken dormant viruses in the lungs January 17th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project