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

Halas wins American Chemical Society Award in Colloid Chemistry: Rice University nanophotonics pioneer honored for colloid research September 18th, 2018

How a tetrahedral substance can be more symmetrical than a spherical atom: A new type of symmetry September 14th, 2018

Terahertz spectroscopy enters the single-molecule regime September 7th, 2018

Peering into private life of atomic clusters -- using the world's tiniest test tubes September 6th, 2018

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

NUS researchers invent new test kit for quick, accurate and low-cost screening of diseases: Test results are denoted by a color change and could be further analyzed by a smartphone app, making it attractive as a point-of-care diagnostic device September 19th, 2018

Silver nanoparticles are toxic for aquatic organisms: A research team at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has analysed how zebrafish are affected in the long term by exposure to silver particles September 19th, 2018

Leti Announces EU Project to Develop Powerful, Inexpensive Sensors with Photonic Integrated Circuits: REDFINCH Members Initially Targeting Applications for Gas Detection and Analysis For Refineries & Petrochemical Industry and Protein Analysis for Dairy Industry September 19th, 2018

Researchers develop microbubble scrubber to destroy dangerous biofilms September 19th, 2018

Food/Agriculture/Supplements

Leti Announces EU Project to Develop Powerful, Inexpensive Sensors with Photonic Integrated Circuits: REDFINCH Members Initially Targeting Applications for Gas Detection and Analysis For Refineries & Petrochemical Industry and Protein Analysis for Dairy Industry September 19th, 2018

Research brief: UMN researchers use green gold to rapidly detect and identify harmful bacteria August 15th, 2018

Changing the grocery game: Manufacturing process provides low-cost, sustainable option for food packaging June 26th, 2018

Nanomaterials could mean more algae outbreaks for wetlands, waterways: High tech metal particles may inadvertently take a toll on aquatic life June 26th, 2018

Environment

Silver nanoparticles are toxic for aquatic organisms: A research team at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has analysed how zebrafish are affected in the long term by exposure to silver particles September 19th, 2018

Carbon nanodots do an ultrafine job with in vitro lung tissue: New experiments highlight the role of charge and size when it comes to carbon nanodots that mimic the effect of nanoscale pollution particles on the human lung. September 12th, 2018

A human enzyme can biodegrade graphene August 28th, 2018

Large scale preparation method of high quality SWNT sponges August 24th, 2018

Personal Care/Cosmetics

A Comprehensive Guide: The Future of Nanotechnology September 13th, 2018

Graphene finds new application as anti-static hair dye: New formula works as well as commercial permanent dyes without chemically altering hairs March 22nd, 2018

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

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

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Silver nanoparticles are toxic for aquatic organisms: A research team at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has analysed how zebrafish are affected in the long term by exposure to silver particles September 19th, 2018

Carbon nanodots do an ultrafine job with in vitro lung tissue: New experiments highlight the role of charge and size when it comes to carbon nanodots that mimic the effect of nanoscale pollution particles on the human lung. September 12th, 2018

A human enzyme can biodegrade graphene August 28th, 2018

Nanoscience and the future of healthcare kick off first day of ACS national meeting in Boston: Presidential events highlight safety, diversity and groundbreaking research August 2nd, 2018

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project