The algal toxicity of silver engineered nanoparticles and detoxification by exopolymeric substances. Academic Article uri icon


  • In this study, we report that silver ions (Ag(+)) from the oxidative dissolution of silver engineered nanoparticles (Ag-ENs) determined the EN toxicity to the marine diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii. Most of the Ag-ENs formed non-toxic aggregates (>0.22 microm) in seawater. When the free Ag(+) concentration ([Ag(+)](F)) was greatly reduced by diafiltration or thiol complexation, no toxicity was observed, even though the Ag-ENs were better dispersed in the presence of thiols with up to 1.08 x 10(-5) M Ag-ENs found in the <0.22 microm fraction, which are orders of magnitude higher than predicted for the natural aquatic environment. The secretion of polysaccharide-rich algal exopolymeric substances (EPS) significantly increased at increasing [Ag(+)](F). Both dissolved and particulate polysaccharide concentrations were higher for nutrient-limited cells, coinciding with their higher Ag(+) tolerance, suggesting that EPS may be involved in Ag(+) detoxification.

published proceedings

  • Environ Pollut

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Miao, A., Schwehr, K. A., Xu, C., Zhang, S., Luo, Z., Quigg, A., & Santschi, P. H.

citation count

  • 326

complete list of authors

  • Miao, Ai-Jun||Schwehr, Kathy A||Xu, Chen||Zhang, Sai-Jin||Luo, Zhiping||Quigg, Antonietta||Santschi, Peter H

publication date

  • November 2009