Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > X-rays reveal uptake of nanoparticles by soya bean crops: Metals contained in nanoparticles can enter into the food chain

Highly sensitive spectral analysis techniques at the ESRF enabled detecting otherwise undetectable nanoparticles of cerium dioxide in the soya beans. This image shows the X-ray fluorescence intensity in an area of about 0.5 by 0.5 mm2. The nanoparticle is indicated by a red pixel (high fluorescence) in the upper left quarter.

Credit: ESRF/H. Castillo-Michel
Highly sensitive spectral analysis techniques at the ESRF enabled detecting otherwise undetectable nanoparticles of cerium dioxide in the soya beans. This image shows the X-ray fluorescence intensity in an area of about 0.5 by 0.5 mm2. The nanoparticle is indicated by a red pixel (high fluorescence) in the upper left quarter.

Credit: ESRF/H. Castillo-Michel

Abstract:
Scientists have, for the first time, traced the nanoparticles taken up from the soil by crop plants and analysed the chemical states of their metallic elements. Zinc was shown to dissolve and accumulate throughout the plants, whereas the element cerium did not dissolve into plant tissue. The results contribute to the controversial debate on plant toxicity of nanoparticles and whether engineered nanoparticles can enter into the food chain. The study was published on 6 February 2013 in the journal ACS Nano.

X-rays reveal uptake of nanoparticles by soya bean crops: Metals contained in nanoparticles can enter into the food chain

Grenoble, France | Posted on February 6th, 2013

The international research team was led by Jorge Gardea-Torresdey from the University of Texas in El Paso and also comprised scientists from the University of California in Santa Barbara, the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Stanford (California), and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble (France).

Nanoparticles are present everywhere, for example in the fine dust of wood fires. Even a simple chemical compound behaves differently as a nanoparticle, mostly due to the increased specific surface area and reactivity. These appealing properties are why so-called Engineered Nanoparticles (ENPs) are now widely used in industrial processing and consumer goods. At the same time, their high reactivity has raised concerns about their fate, transport and toxicity in the environment. "A growing number of products containing ENPs are in the market and eventually they will get into the soil, water and air. This is why it is very important to study the interactions of crops with nanoparticles, as their possible translocation into the food chain starts here." says Jorge Gardea-Torresdey, a Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Texas at El Paso.

The scientists focused on soya bean plants (glycine max), the fifth largest crop in global agricultural production, and the second in the U.S. The soil in which the plants were grown was mixed with zinc oxide (ZnO) and cerium dioxide (CeO2, nanoceria) nanoparticles, which are among the most highly used in industry. ZnO is widely used in sunscreen products, as gas sensors, antibacterial agents, optical and electrical devices, and as pigments. Nanoceria is an excellent catalyst for internal combustion and oil cracking processes and is also used in gas sensors, sunscreen products and cosmetic creams.

After the soya bean plants had been grown to maturity in greenhouses, the distribution of zinc and cerium throughout the plants was studied. The use of microscopic synchrotron X-ray beams at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), enabled scientists to determine the chemical form of these metals, i.e. whether they were still bound to nanoparticles or had dissolved and bound with plant tissue. "We used X-ray beams 1000 times thinner than a human hair, and the way in which they are absorbed tells us whether, at the microscopic spot they hit, zinc and cerium were present, and whether they formed part of a nanoparticle in the plant or not." says Hiram Castillo, a scientist at the ESRF in Grenoble.

Cerium was shown to be present not only in the nodules close to the soil but had also reached the plant pods. A detailed spectral analysis of the X-ray signals showed that the cerium in the nodules and pods was in the same chemical state as in the nanoparticles. However, part of the cerium had changed its oxidation state from Ce(IV) to Ce(III) which can alter the chemical reactivity of the nanoparticles.

Zinc was detected in nodules, stems and pods in concentrations higher than in a control group of plants. The spectral analysis did not show the presence of zinc in the plants bound as ZnO nanoparticles which means that the zinc in the nanoparticles had been biotransformed. The spectra suggest that organic acids present in the plants such as citrate, are the probable ligands for the zinc.

"As zinc is present in most plants, it didn't come as a surprise that zinc from the nanoparticles in the soil can enter into the plant tissue. But plants can also assimilate more dangerous elements like cadmium or arsenic which, when used in nanoparticles, might pose a real threat." says Hiram Castillo. "Our results have also shown that CeO2 nanoparticles can be taken up by food crops when present in the soil. Cerium has no chemical partner in the plant tissue and is not biotransformed in the soya bean but still reaches the food chain and the next soya bean plant generation." adds Jorge Gardea-Torresdey.

"One must keep in mind that once engineered nanoparticles enter the food chain, this is an accumulative process. Tolerable levels today can become dangerous tomorrow. This is why it is important to study not only whether man-made nanoparticles can be taken up from soil but also how they are biotransformed in the plants." concludes Jorge Gardea-Torresdey.

Arturo A. Keller of the University of California in Santa Barbara and Co-Director of the UC Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, who was not involved in this research, comments:

"It's a fascinating paper with some genuine concerns in terms of potential health implications. Whilst we are not able to directly attribute nanoparticle ingestion to any particular disease or symptoms, we know from the latest laboratory studies the potency some have in terms of infiltrating our cells and tissue and causing harm. The fact that these potentially dangerous particles are being taken up by such a common crop suggests a need to review what materials are used in agriculture around the world. In particular, it raises concern over the use of treated waste water to irrigate crops all over the world which may provide a route for these potentially dangerous particles to get into our bodies if the content of the water is not more tightly managed."

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Claus Habfast

33-666-662-384

Copyright © European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

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

News and information

Iranian Researchers Synthesize Stable Ceramic Nanopowders at Room Temperature September 20th, 2014

Arrowhead to Present at BioCentury's NewsMakers in the Biotech Industry Conference September 19th, 2014

SouthWest NanoTechnologies (SWeNT) Receives NIST Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 Award to Produce Greater than 99% Semiconducting Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes September 19th, 2014

Toward optical chips: A promising light source for optoelectronic chips can be tuned to different frequencies September 19th, 2014

Imaging

IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting To Celebrate 60th Anniversary as The Leading Technical Conference for Advanced Semiconductor Devices September 18th, 2014

FEI Opens New Technology Center in Czech Republic: FEI expands its presence in Brno with the opening of a new, larger facility September 18th, 2014

New NPZ100-403 Piezo Stage from nPoint Inc. September 17th, 2014

New non-invasive technique could revolutionize the imaging of metastatic cancer September 17th, 2014

Sensors

IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting To Celebrate 60th Anniversary as The Leading Technical Conference for Advanced Semiconductor Devices September 18th, 2014

Biosensors Get a Boost from Graphene Partnership: $5 Million Investment Supports Dozens of Jobs and Development of 300mm Fabrication Process and Wafer Transfer Facility September 18th, 2014

The Pocket Project will develop a low-cost and accurate point-of-care test to diagnose Tuberculosis: ICN2 holds a follow-up meeting of the Project on September 18th - 19th September 18th, 2014

Nanoscience makes your wine better September 17th, 2014

Discoveries

Iranian Scientists Separate Zinc Ion at Low Concentrations September 20th, 2014

Iranian Researchers Synthesize Stable Ceramic Nanopowders at Room Temperature September 20th, 2014

Toward optical chips: A promising light source for optoelectronic chips can be tuned to different frequencies September 19th, 2014

New research points to graphene as a flexible, low-cost touchscreen solution September 19th, 2014

Announcements

Iranian Scientists Separate Zinc Ion at Low Concentrations September 20th, 2014

Arrowhead to Present at BioCentury's NewsMakers in the Biotech Industry Conference September 19th, 2014

SouthWest NanoTechnologies (SWeNT) Receives NIST Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 Award to Produce Greater than 99% Semiconducting Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes September 19th, 2014

Toward optical chips: A promising light source for optoelectronic chips can be tuned to different frequencies September 19th, 2014

Tools

IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting To Celebrate 60th Anniversary as The Leading Technical Conference for Advanced Semiconductor Devices September 18th, 2014

FEI Opens New Technology Center in Czech Republic: FEI expands its presence in Brno with the opening of a new, larger facility September 18th, 2014

New NPZ100-403 Piezo Stage from nPoint Inc. September 17th, 2014

Researchers Create World’s Largest DNA Origami September 11th, 2014

Personal Care

Sunblock poses potential hazard to sea life August 20th, 2014

AQUANOVA receives Technology Leadership Award 2014 FROST & SULLIVAN honors NovaSOL® Technology again August 12th, 2014

Nanotechnology used in sunscreens: a Mexican achievement May 14th, 2014

Production of Nanocapsule from Sea-Buckthorn Extract in Iran May 3rd, 2014

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Engineers develop new sensor to detect tiny individual nanoparticles September 2nd, 2014

Sunblock poses potential hazard to sea life August 20th, 2014

Analytical solutions from Malvern Instruments support University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researchers in understanding environmental effects of nanomaterials July 30th, 2014

NNCO Announces an Interactive Webinar: Progress Review on the Coordinated Implementation of the National Nanotechnology Initiative 2011 Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Strategy July 23rd, 2014

Research partnerships

Biosensors Get a Boost from Graphene Partnership: $5 Million Investment Supports Dozens of Jobs and Development of 300mm Fabrication Process and Wafer Transfer Facility September 18th, 2014

The Pocket Project will develop a low-cost and accurate point-of-care test to diagnose Tuberculosis: ICN2 holds a follow-up meeting of the Project on September 18th - 19th September 18th, 2014

Recruiting bacteria to be technology innovation partners: September 17th, 2014

Carbon Sciences Developing Breakthrough Technology to Mass-Produce Graphene -- the New Miracle Material: Company Enters Into an Agreement With the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) to Fund the Further Development of a New Graphene Process September 16th, 2014

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE