Environmental health and toxicology

Effects of silica nanoparticles on growth and photosynthetic pigment contentsof Scenedesmus obliquus

Chenxi Wei , Yanbo Zhang , Jing Guo , Bing Han , Xu Yang , Junlin Yuan


Received March 02, 2009,Revised May 16, 2009, Accepted , Available online

Volume 22,2010,Pages 155-160

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To assess the aquatic ecosystem safety for silica (SiO2) nanoparticles (NPs), the growth inhibition and photosynthetic pigment contents of Scenedesmus obliquus in logarithm growth phase exposed to SiO2 NPs and SiO2 bulk particles (BPs) suspensions were measured. SiO2 NPs with 10–20 nm diameters were found to be toxic. The 20% e ective concentration (EC20) values for 72 and 96 hr were 388.1 and 216.5 mg/L, respectively. The contents of chlorophyll decreased significantly under moderate and high concentration (50, 100, and 200 mg/L) of SiO2 NPs after 96-hr exposure, but the carotenoids did not. SiO2 BPs were found to be nontoxic up to 200 mg/L. The toxicity of SiO2 NPs probablely due to their sorption to algal cells surface. The results imply that there is potential harm to aquatic environment by using SiO2 NPs, and it should deserve special concern.

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