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Article

Simultaneous Influence of Gradients in Natural Organic Matter and Abiotic Parameters on the Behavior of Silver Nanoparticles in the Transition Zone from Freshwater to Saltwater Environments

Center for Marine Research, Ruđer Bošković Institute, G. Paliaga 5, 52210 Rovinj, Croatia
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Academic Editors: Mazen M. El-Hammadi and Jose Luis Arias Mediano
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(2), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12020296
Received: 1 November 2021 / Revised: 10 January 2022 / Accepted: 13 January 2022 / Published: 17 January 2022
As nanoparticles have been found to cause a range of harmful impacts in biota, understanding processes and transformations which may stabilize and increase their persistence time in the environment are of great importance. As nanoparticles carried in riverine or wastewaters will eventually reach estuaries, understanding their behavior and transport potential in this transition zone from fresh to marine waters is essential, particularly as estuaries are sensitive ecological zones, oftentimes encompassing ornithologically important areas. In this direction, we report on the influence of combined gradients of riverine and marine natural organic matter (NOM) on the temporal stability of biocorona-encapsulated silver nanoparticles in terms of ion release kinetics. In parallel, salinity, pH and oxygen saturation were simultaneously varied to create a model to mimic the complex estuarine environment. While humic acid (HA) and alginate (Alg) disrupted the stabilizing ability of the nanoparticle protein corona to a greater and lesser degree, respectively, they slowed the rate of ion release in freshwater at pH 6.6 and in saltwater at pH 8, respectively, while oxygen saturation was also found to be an important factor. Thus, as the type of NOM changes with pH along a salinity gradient in an estuary, conditions required to increase the persistence time of nanoparticles are serendipitously met, with greater colloidal stability achieved in cases where there is more rapid replacement of HA with Alg. Despite the strong gradients in ionic strength, pH and oxygen saturation, the protein corona was not sufficiently disrupted at the nanoparticle surface to be substituted by NOM indicating the greater adsorption energy of the protein’s hydrophobic domains. Ultimately, it is the specific NOM profile of individual estuaries that may provide the best indicator for predicting the stability and persistence of silver nanoparticles as they transition from fresh to salt water environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: estuary; brackish water; urban wastewater; dissolved organic carbon; biocorona; agglomeration; kinetics estuary; brackish water; urban wastewater; dissolved organic carbon; biocorona; agglomeration; kinetics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Čarapar, I.; Jurković, L.; Pavičić-Hamer, D.; Hamer, B.; Lyons, D.M. Simultaneous Influence of Gradients in Natural Organic Matter and Abiotic Parameters on the Behavior of Silver Nanoparticles in the Transition Zone from Freshwater to Saltwater Environments. Nanomaterials 2022, 12, 296. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12020296

AMA Style

Čarapar I, Jurković L, Pavičić-Hamer D, Hamer B, Lyons DM. Simultaneous Influence of Gradients in Natural Organic Matter and Abiotic Parameters on the Behavior of Silver Nanoparticles in the Transition Zone from Freshwater to Saltwater Environments. Nanomaterials. 2022; 12(2):296. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12020296

Chicago/Turabian Style

Čarapar, Ivana, Lara Jurković, Dijana Pavičić-Hamer, Bojan Hamer, and Daniel M. Lyons. 2022. "Simultaneous Influence of Gradients in Natural Organic Matter and Abiotic Parameters on the Behavior of Silver Nanoparticles in the Transition Zone from Freshwater to Saltwater Environments" Nanomaterials 12, no. 2: 296. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12020296

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