Special Issue "Nanomaterials towards Environmental Protection: Applications and Threats to Aquatic Systems"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Nanoscience and Nanotechnology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 March 2022) | Viewed by 3764

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Rosa Freitas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology & CESAM, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: climate change; emmergent pollutants; ecotoxicity; micro- and nanoplastics; carbon-based nanoparticles; pharmaceuticals; aquatic toxicity
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Industrialization, despite its benefits, has been identified as a major environmental threat, with the associated water pollution representing a great menace to humans and wildlife. Currently, there is a vast variety of substances reaching coastal environments, from classical to newly developed chemicals, all posing a risk to marine wildlife. For decades, classical pollutants (e.g., trace metals) have been monitored worldwide and their impacts on the aquatic environment identified. Regarding emerging pollutants (EPs), although an increasing number of studies have reported their environmental occurrence, scarce information is available concerning the risks imposed by a large variety of EPs on aquatic systems and, in particular, their inhabiting organisms. Among EPs, nanomaterials are of major relevance. Due to their properties, a vast range of nanomaterials have been used in a wide variety of applications, including new approaches to protect aquatic environments, such as water filtration, biosensors, and nano-based coatings. The lack of information regarding their environmental concentrations and potential toxicity justifies the concern over these pollutants. Nevertheless, technological advances have not been paralleled with aquatic impact assessments; although, an increasing number of studies have highlighted the toxic effects of nanomaterials toward aquatic wildlife. Furthermore, very scarce information is available regarding the impacts of nanomaterials when under different climate change scenarios. Projections point out an increase in extreme weather events in both frequency and intensity, with consequences on the structure and functioning of aquatic systems and affecting not only organisms’ sensitivity (namely to pollutants) but also pollutants’ toxic capacity. Thus, new knowledge on this topic will support governmental and regulatory agencies and policies toward the protection of aquatic systems in order to maintain goods and ecosystem services, guarantee safe marine products and human health, and meet international strategies, including the UN Ocean Decade and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Dr. Rosa Freitas
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • nanomaterials
  • climate change
  • marine and freshwater systems
  • impacts
  • biodiversity

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
3D Printed Metal Oxide-Polymer Composite Materials for Antifouling Applications
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(6), 917; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12060917 - 10 Mar 2022
Viewed by 797
Abstract
Current technology to prevent biofouling usually relies on the use of toxic, biocide-containing materials, which can become a serious threat to marine ecosystems, affecting both targeted and nontargeted organisms. Therefore, the development of broad-spectrum, less toxic antifouling materials is a challenge for researchers; [...] Read more.
Current technology to prevent biofouling usually relies on the use of toxic, biocide-containing materials, which can become a serious threat to marine ecosystems, affecting both targeted and nontargeted organisms. Therefore, the development of broad-spectrum, less toxic antifouling materials is a challenge for researchers; such materials would be quite important in applications like aquaculture. In this respect, surface chemistry, physical properties, durability and attachment scheme can play a vital role in the performance of the materials. In this work, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)/micro ZnO or nano ZnO composite lattices with different metal oxide contents were developed using 3D printing. Their antifouling behavior was examined with respect to aquaculture applications by monitoring growth on them of the diatoms Navicula sp. and the monocellular algae Chlorella sp. with image analysis techniques. As shown, the presence of metal oxides in the composite materials can bring about antifouling ability at particular concentrations. The present study showed promising results, but further improvements are needed. Full article
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Article
An Electrochemical Sensor Based on Gold and Bismuth Bimetallic Nanoparticles Decorated L-Cysteine Functionalized Graphene Oxide Nanocomposites for Sensitive Detection of Iron Ions in Water Samples
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(9), 2386; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11092386 - 14 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1092
Abstract
In this work, gold and bismuth bimetallic nanoparticles decorated L-cysteine functionalized graphene oxide nanocomposites (Au-BiNPs/SH-GO) were prepared and applied to selective detection of Fe(III) in lake and seawater samples by modifying onto glassy carbon electrodes. Bimetallic nanoparticles have various excellent properties and better [...] Read more.
In this work, gold and bismuth bimetallic nanoparticles decorated L-cysteine functionalized graphene oxide nanocomposites (Au-BiNPs/SH-GO) were prepared and applied to selective detection of Fe(III) in lake and seawater samples by modifying onto glassy carbon electrodes. Bimetallic nanoparticles have various excellent properties and better catalytic properties because of the unique synergistic effect between metals. The modified electrode was characterized by scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. Under optimized conditions, current peak intensity increased linearly with increasing Fe(III) concentration over the range of 0.2–50 μM and a detection limit of 0.07 μM (S/N = 3). The Au-BiNPs/SH-GO/GCE was used for the determination of Fe(III) in lake and seawater samples with recoveries ranged from 90 to 103%. Those satisfactory results revealed the potential application of the Au-BiNPs/SH-GO electrochemical sensor for heavy metals detection in environmental monitoring. Full article
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Article
The Influence of Temperature Increase on the Toxicity of Mercury Remediated Seawater Using the Nanomaterial Graphene Oxide on the Mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(8), 1978; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11081978 - 31 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 797
Abstract
Mercury (Hg) has been increasing in waters, sediments, soils and air, as a result of natural events and anthropogenic activities. In aquatic environments, especially marine systems (estuaries and lagoons), Hg is easily bioavailable and accumulated by aquatic wildlife, namely bivalves, due to their [...] Read more.
Mercury (Hg) has been increasing in waters, sediments, soils and air, as a result of natural events and anthropogenic activities. In aquatic environments, especially marine systems (estuaries and lagoons), Hg is easily bioavailable and accumulated by aquatic wildlife, namely bivalves, due to their lifestyle characteristics (sedentary and filter-feeding behavior). In recent years, different approaches have been developed with the objective of removing metal(loid)s from the water, including the employment of nanomaterials. However, coastal systems and marine organisms are not exclusively challenged by pollutants but also by climate changes such as progressive temperature increment. Therefore, the present study aimed to (i) evaluate the toxicity of remediated seawater, previously contaminated by Hg (50 mg/L) and decontaminated by the use of graphene-based nanomaterials (graphene oxide (GO) functionalized with polyethyleneimine, 10 mg/L), towards the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis; (ii) assess the influence of temperature on the toxicity of decontaminated seawater. For this, alterations observed in mussels’ metabolic capacity, oxidative and neurotoxic status, as well as histopathological injuries in gills and digestive tubules were measured. This study demonstrated that mussels exposed to Hg contaminated seawater presented higher impacts than organisms under remediated seawater. When comparing the impacts at 21 °C (present study) and 17 °C (previously published data), organisms exposed to remediated seawater at a higher temperature presented higher injuries than organisms at 17 °C. These results indicate that predicted warming conditions may negatively affect effective remediation processes, with the increasing of temperature being responsible for changes in organisms’ sensitivity to pollutants or increasing pollutants toxicity. Full article
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