Stability and Toxicity of Silver Nanoparticles in Aquatic Environment: A Review
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The stability of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) influences their fate, transport, and toxicity in the aquatic environment. This review discusses solutions parameters, which are largely responsible for the stability of AgNPs in biological and natural environments. The coating of chemical material onto AgNPs leads to their stabilization in which the surface charge plays a significant role. High molecular weight materials (e.g. polyvinyl pyrrolidone, PVP and natural organic matter, NOM) tend to stabilize the AgNPs. Citrate-coated AgNPs are usually stable for a few days while AgNPs in solutions of Ag+ and humic acid (or fulvic acid) are stable for several months. Solution pH, ionic strength, and ionic constituents control the aggregation of AgNPs. Numerous studies on the toxicity of AgNPs to microorganisms, plants, and human cells have been performed, but understanding the mechanisms of toxic effects are still in progress. Release of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during dissolution and interactions of particles with surface cell components may be involved in the toxic effects of AgNPs. Progress on the applications of proteomic and toxiconomic techniques in understanding the mechanism of toxic effects of AgNPs is briefly discussed. 2013 American Chemical Society.