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Nanomaterials 2014, 4(3), 535-547; doi:10.3390/nano4030535

Accumulation and Toxicity of Copper Oxide Engineered Nanoparticles in a Marine Mussel

1,* , 2
1 Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5131, USA 2 Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-6150, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 March 2014 / Revised: 12 June 2014 / Accepted: 16 June 2014 / Published: 27 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotoxicology)
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Cu is an essential trace element but can be highly toxic to aquatic organisms at elevated concentrations. Greater use of CuO engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) may lead to increased concentrations of CuO ENPs in aquatic environments causing potential ecological injury. We examined the toxicity of CuO ENPs to marine mussels and the influence of mussels on the fate and transport of CuO ENPs. We exposed marine mussels to 1, 2, or 3 mg L−1 CuO ENPs for four weeks, and measured clearance rate, rejection, excretion and accumulation of Cu, and mussel shell growth. Mussel clearance rate was 48% less, and growth was 68% less, in mussels exposed to 3 mg L−1 than in control animals. Previous studies show 100% mortality at 1 mg Cu L−1, suggesting that CuO ENPs are much less toxic than ionic Cu, probably due to the slow dissolution rate of the ENPs. Mussels rejected and excreted CuO ENPs in biodeposits containing as much as 110 mg Cu g−1, suggesting the potential for magnification in sediments. Mussels exposed to 3 mg L−1 CuO ENPs accumulated 79.14 ± 12.46 µg Cu g−1 dry weight, which was 60 times more Cu than in control animals. Our results suggest that mussels have the potential to influence the fate and transport of CuO ENPs and potentially cause magnification of CuO ENPs in mussel bed communities, creating a significant source of Cu to marine benthos.
Keywords: CuO; nanomaterials; mussel; ecotoxicology CuO; nanomaterials; mussel; ecotoxicology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Hanna, S.K.; Miller, R.J.; Lenihan, H.S. Accumulation and Toxicity of Copper Oxide Engineered Nanoparticles in a Marine Mussel. Nanomaterials 2014, 4, 535-547.

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