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Special Issue "Environmental Impact of Nanomaterials"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2017

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Harald F. Krug

Empa – Swiss Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Lerchenfeldstrasse 5, St. Gallen, CH-9014 and NanoCASE GmbH, Shareholder and Consultant and University of Bern, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biological mechanisms; environmentally relevant pollutants, technical chemicals and materials; nanotoxicology
Guest Editor
Dr. Dana Kühnel

Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research−UFZ, Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: ecotoxicology and toxicokinetics of engineered nanomaterials
Guest Editor
Dr. Anita Jemec Kokalj

Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Jamnikarjeva 101, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: aquatic and terrestrial ecotoxicology of engineered nanomaterials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Engineered nanomaterials (ENM) are a diverse group of materials that find applications in a great variety of products, ranging from cosmetics to paints, from sports equipment to electronics, or from soil remediation to nanomedicine. Depending on the type of product and the integration of the nanomaterial into it, release of engineered nanomaterials into the environment is inevitable. Hence, this Special Issue deals with the release, fate and effects that nanomaterials elicit in the different environmental compartments, including the technosphere (e.g., behavior during waste water treatment or handling of solid waste). We invite contributions considering all types of man-made nanomaterials that are appropriately characterized regarding their physical and chemical properties.

During the last decade, a large number of studies have been published trying to find adverse effects of ENM on human and environment. Commonly, unrealistically high exposure concentrations were tested to proof an effect. The publications regarding nanotoxicity with very alarming conclusions are attractive and often considered publication worthy, while those reporting no adverse effects are not considered as novel findings for publication purposes. For this reason in this issue we specifically welcome authors to submit also “No-effect Studies”. Also studies using concentrations of ENM close to realistic or predicted environmental levels are invited.

We invite full papers, communications and reviews covering one or several of the topics included in (or related to) the keywords below.

Prof. Harald F. Krug
Dr. Dana Kühnel
Dr. Anita Jemec Kokalj
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • engineered nanomaterials (ENM)

  • environmental release and fate

  • pathways of toxicity (PoT) and adverse outcome pathways (AOP) of ENM

  • uptake and food-chain transfer

  • co-contaminants and mixture effects

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessReview A Review of Recent Advances towards the Development of (Quantitative) Structure-Activity Relationships for Metallic Nanomaterials
Materials 2017, 10(9), 1013; doi:10.3390/ma10091013
Received: 1 July 2017 / Revised: 8 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Gathering required information in a fast and inexpensive way is essential for assessing the risks of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). The extension of conventional (quantitative) structure-activity relationships ((Q)SARs) approach to nanotoxicology, i.e., nano-(Q)SARs, is a possible solution. The preliminary attempts of correlating ENMs’ characteristics
[...] Read more.
Gathering required information in a fast and inexpensive way is essential for assessing the risks of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). The extension of conventional (quantitative) structure-activity relationships ((Q)SARs) approach to nanotoxicology, i.e., nano-(Q)SARs, is a possible solution. The preliminary attempts of correlating ENMs’ characteristics to the biological effects elicited by ENMs highlighted the potential applicability of (Q)SARs in the nanotoxicity field. This review discusses the current knowledge on the development of nano-(Q)SARs for metallic ENMs, on the aspects of data sources, reported nano-(Q)SARs, and mechanistic interpretation. An outlook is given on the further development of this frontier. As concluded, the used experimental data mainly concern the uptake of ENMs by different cell lines and the toxicity of ENMs to cells lines and Escherichia coli. The widely applied techniques of deriving models are linear and non-linear regressions, support vector machine, artificial neural network, k-nearest neighbors, etc. Concluded from the descriptors, surface properties of ENMs are seen as vital for the cellular uptake of ENMs; the capability of releasing ions and surface redox properties of ENMs are of importance for evaluating nanotoxicity. This review aims to present key advances in relevant nano-modeling studies and stimulate future research efforts in this quickly developing field of research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact of Nanomaterials)

Figure 1

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Review
Title:Performance of the method and biology of the test organism define the interpretation of NPs fate: case study with AgNP
Author(s): Anita Jemec Kokalj
Affiliation(s): Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Jamnikarjeva 101, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to (i) provide a review of methods currently used to study the fate of NPs inside the organism and (ii) to evaluate the performance of each method in terms of resolution, specificity and sensitivity. For this purpose, we reviewed the existing literature on silver nanoparticles, for which a lot of data are already available. We found out that the data differ to a large extent. While in some cases evident distribution of NPs within different body parts was reported, in other cases the distribution of NPs was not recorded. Often the selection of methods was inappropriate because the method was either not specific or sensitive enough to be able to fulfill the goal of the study. Our main conclusion is that there is currently no single technique that would discriminate between ions and NPs, and at the same time enable quantification of NPs and their subcellular localization. Therefore, the method to study NP fate should be selected based on the(i) the characteristics of NPs (dissolution, composition, size) and (ii) the aim of the study (body burden or cellular localization).The final aim of the paper is to provide guidance for the use of the certain method according to the purpose of the study.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Toxicity evaluation of single and binary mixtures of metal oxide nanoparticles based on the cell count and chlorophyll content of algal growth
Author(s): In Chul Kong
Affiliation(s): Department of Environment Engineering, Yeungnam Uniiversity, 712-749 Korea

Journal Contact

Materials Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
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