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Article

Gemini Surfactant as a Template Agent for the Synthesis of More Eco-Friendly Silica Nanocapsules

1
CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials and Department of Materials and Ceramic Engineering, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
2
CESAM-Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies and Department of Biology, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(22), 8085; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10228085
Received: 14 October 2020 / Revised: 3 November 2020 / Accepted: 13 November 2020 / Published: 15 November 2020
Silica mesoporous nanocapsules are a class of “smart” engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) applied in several fields. Recent studies have highlighted that they can exert deleterious effects into marine organisms, attributed to the use of the toxic cationic surfactant N-hexadecyl-N,N,N-trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) during the synthesis of ENMs. The present study reports the successful synthesis and characterization of novel gemini surfactant-based silica nanocapsules. The gemini surfactant 1,4-bis-[N-(1-dodecyl)-N,N-dimethylammoniummethyl]benzene dibromide (QSB2-12) was chosen as a more environmentally-friendly replacement of CTAB. Nanocapsules were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier-transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), dynamic light scattering (DLS), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and N2 adsorption-desorption isotherms. Short-term exposure effects of new ENMs were evaluated in four marine species (Nannochloropsis gaditana, Tetraselmis chuii and Phaeodactylum tricornutum) and the microcrustacean (Artemia salina). The replacement of the commercial cationic surfactant by the gemini surfactant does not change the structure nor the environmental behaviour in seawater of the newly synthesised silica nanocontainers. Additionally, it is demonstrated that using gemini surfactants can reduce the toxicity of novel silica nanocapsules towards the tested marine species. As a result, environmentally-friendly ENMs can be obtained based on a safe-by-design approach, thereby fitting the concept of Green Chemistry. View Full-Text
Keywords: cationic surfactants; microemulsion; mesoporous silica; encapsulation; ecotoxicity cationic surfactants; microemulsion; mesoporous silica; encapsulation; ecotoxicity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kaczerewska, O.; Sousa, I.; Martins, R.; Figueiredo, J.; Loureiro, S.; Tedim, J. Gemini Surfactant as a Template Agent for the Synthesis of More Eco-Friendly Silica Nanocapsules. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 8085. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10228085

AMA Style

Kaczerewska O, Sousa I, Martins R, Figueiredo J, Loureiro S, Tedim J. Gemini Surfactant as a Template Agent for the Synthesis of More Eco-Friendly Silica Nanocapsules. Applied Sciences. 2020; 10(22):8085. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10228085

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kaczerewska, Olga; Sousa, Isabel; Martins, Roberto; Figueiredo, Joana; Loureiro, Susana; Tedim, João. 2020. "Gemini Surfactant as a Template Agent for the Synthesis of More Eco-Friendly Silica Nanocapsules" Appl. Sci. 10, no. 22: 8085. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10228085

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