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Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8020076

Alginic Acid-Aided Dispersion of Carbon Nanotubes, Graphene, and Boron Nitride Nanomaterials for Microbial Toxicity Testing

1
Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, Earth Research Institute, University of California Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
2
University of California Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, California NanoSystems Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract

Robust evaluation of potential environmental and health risks of carbonaceous and boron nitride nanomaterials (NMs) is imperative. However, significant agglomeration of pristine carbonaceous and boron nitride NMs due to strong van der Waals forces renders them not suitable for direct toxicity testing in aqueous media. Here, the natural polysaccharide alginic acid (AA) was used as a nontoxic, environmentally relevant dispersant with defined composition to disperse seven types of carbonaceous and boron nitride NMs, including multiwall carbon nanotubes, graphene, boron nitride nanotubes, and hexagonal boron nitride flakes, with various physicochemical characteristics. AA’s biocompatibility was confirmed by examining AA effects on viability and growth of two model microorganisms (the protozoan Tetrahymena thermophila and the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa). Using 400 mg·L−1 AA, comparably stable NM (200 mg·L−1) stock dispersions were obtained by 30-min probe ultrasonication. AA non-covalently interacted with NM surfaces and improved the dispersibility of NMs in water. The dispersion stability varied with NM morphology and size rather than chemistry. The optimized dispersion protocol established here can facilitate preparing homogeneous NM dispersions for reliable exposures during microbial toxicity testing, contributing to improved reproducibility of toxicity results. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon nanotubes; graphene; boron nitride; alginic acid; dispersion; agglomeration; microbiological media; non-covalent functionalization; biocompatibility carbon nanotubes; graphene; boron nitride; alginic acid; dispersion; agglomeration; microbiological media; non-covalent functionalization; biocompatibility
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Wang, Y.; Mortimer, M.; Chang, C.H.; Holden, P.A. Alginic Acid-Aided Dispersion of Carbon Nanotubes, Graphene, and Boron Nitride Nanomaterials for Microbial Toxicity Testing. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 76.

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