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Nanomaterials 2017, 7(1), 21; doi:10.3390/nano7010021

Behavior and Potential Impacts of Metal-Based Engineered Nanoparticles in Aquatic Environments

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
Department of Environmental Engineering, College of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
Department of Environmental Science, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, China
John A. Reif, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ 07102, USA
State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Shenzhen Public Platform for Screening and Application of Marine Microbial Resources, Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, China
Joint Center for Global Change Studies (JCGCS), Beijing 100875, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Thomas Nann
Received: 2 November 2016 / Revised: 7 January 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2017 / Published: 22 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Applications and Implications of Nanotechnology)
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The specific properties of metal-based nanoparticles (NPs) have not only led to rapidly increasing applications in various industrial and commercial products, but also caused environmental concerns due to the inevitable release of NPs and their unpredictable biological/ecological impacts. This review discusses the environmental behavior of metal-based NPs with an in-depth analysis of the mechanisms and kinetics. The focus is on knowledge gaps in the interaction of NPs with aquatic organisms, which can influence the fate, transport and toxicity of NPs in the aquatic environment. Aggregation transforms NPs into micrometer-sized clusters in the aqueous environment, whereas dissolution also alters the size distribution and surface reactivity of metal-based NPs. A unique toxicity mechanism of metal-based NPs is related to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the subsequent ROS-induced oxidative stress. Furthermore, aggregation, dissolution and ROS generation could influence each other and also be influenced by many factors, including the sizes, shapes and surface charge of NPs, as well as the pH, ionic strength, natural organic matter and experimental conditions. Bioaccumulation of NPs in single organism species, such as aquatic plants, zooplankton, fish and benthos, is summarized and compared. Moreover, the trophic transfer and/or biomagnification of metal-based NPs in an aquatic ecosystem are discussed. In addition, genetic effects could result from direct or indirect interactions between DNA and NPs. Finally, several challenges facing us are put forward in the review. View Full-Text
Keywords: aggregation; dissolution; ROS; toxicity; antibacterial; DNA interactions; DLVO theory; tropical levels; bioaccumulation; biomagnification aggregation; dissolution; ROS; toxicity; antibacterial; DNA interactions; DLVO theory; tropical levels; bioaccumulation; biomagnification

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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).

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Peng, C.; Zhang, W.; Gao, H.; Li, Y.; Tong, X.; Li, K.; Zhu, X.; Wang, Y.; Chen, Y. Behavior and Potential Impacts of Metal-Based Engineered Nanoparticles in Aquatic Environments. Nanomaterials 2017, 7, 21.

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