Next Article in Journal
Cr(VI) Sorption/Desorption on Pine Sawdust and Oak Wood Ash
Next Article in Special Issue
Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticle Penetration into the Skin and Effects on HaCaT Cells
Previous Article in Journal
Accumulation of Heavy Metals and Metalloid in Foodstuffs from Agricultural Soils around Tarkwa Area in Ghana, and Associated Human Health Risks
Previous Article in Special Issue
Inventory of Engineered Nanoparticle-Containing Consumer Products Available in the Singapore Retail Market and Likelihood of Release into the Aquatic Environment
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(8), 8828-8848; doi:10.3390/ijerph120808828

Do Nanoparticle Physico-Chemical Properties and Developmental Exposure Window Influence Nano ZnO Embryotoxicity in Xenopus laevis?

Department Earth and Environmental Sciences, POLARIS Research Centre, University of Milano Bicocca, 1 Piazza della Scienza, 20126 Milan, Italy
Department of Biosciences, University of Milan, 26 via Celoria, 20133 Milan, Italy
Tec Star S.r.l., Viale Europa, 40, 41011 Campogalliano, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mónica Amorim
Received: 29 June 2015 / Revised: 17 July 2015 / Accepted: 21 July 2015 / Published: 28 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Fate and Effect of Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [917 KB, uploaded 28 July 2015]   |  


The growing global production of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs) suggests a realistic increase in the environmental exposure to such a nanomaterial, making the knowledge of its biological reactivity and its safe-by-design synthesis mandatory. In this study, the embryotoxicity of ZnONPs (1–100 mg/L) specifically synthesized for industrial purposes with different sizes, shapes (round, rod) and surface coatings (PEG, PVP) was tested using the frog embryo teratogenesis assay-Xenopus (FETAX) to identify potential target tissues and the most sensitive developmental stages. The ZnONPs did not cause embryolethality, but induced a high incidence of malformations, in particular misfolded gut and abdominal edema. Smaller, round NPs were more effective than the bigger, rod ones, and PEGylation determined a reduction in embryotoxicity. Ingestion appeared to be the most relevant exposure route. Only the embryos exposed from the stomodeum opening showed anatomical and histological lesions to the intestine, mainly referable to a swelling of paracellular spaces among enterocytes. In conclusion, ZnONPs differing in shape and surface coating displayed similar toxicity in X. laevis embryos and shared the same target organ. Nevertheless, we cannot exclude that the physico-chemical characteristics may influence the severity of such effects. Further research efforts are mandatory to ensure the synthesis of safer nano-ZnO-containing products. View Full-Text
Keywords: zinc oxide; nanoparticles, Xenopus laevis; FETAX; surface coating; nanotoxicology zinc oxide; nanoparticles, Xenopus laevis; FETAX; surface coating; nanotoxicology

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Bonfanti, P.; Moschini, E.; Saibene, M.; Bacchetta, R.; Rettighieri, L.; Calabri, L.; Colombo, A.; Mantecca, P. Do Nanoparticle Physico-Chemical Properties and Developmental Exposure Window Influence Nano ZnO Embryotoxicity in Xenopus laevis? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 8828-8848.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top