Special Issue "Nanotechnology for Environmental and Biomedical Research"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Biology and Medicines".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 July 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Giada Frenzilli
Website
Guest Editor
University of Pisa, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine – Section of Applied Biology and Genetics, Pisa, Italy
Interests: Nanotoxicology; Ecotoxicology; Nanomaterials; Cellular responses; Genotoxicity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Among the high production and broad feasibility of nanomaterials, the application of nanotechnology includes the use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) to clean-up polluted media such as soils, water, air, groundwater and wastewaters, and is known as nanoremediation. Contamination by hazardous substances in environmental matrices, including landfills, oil fields, manufacturing and industrial sites, represents a global concern and needs to be remediated since it poses serious risk for the environment and human health.  Particular attention should focus on the use of medical devices and recent developments in the use of nanoparticles expressed as drug delivery systems designed to treat a wide variety of diseases. This Special Issue of Nanomaterials, “Nanotechnology for Environmental and Biomedical Research”, aims at collecting a compilation of articles that strongly demonstrate the continuous efforts in developing advanced and safe nanomaterial-based technologies for nanoremediation and drug delivery, for environmental and human health.

Dr. Giada Frenzilli
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Nanostructured materials
  • Nanotoxicology
  • Trojan horse effect
  • Nanoremediation
  • Ecosafety
  • Drug delivery

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Suitability of a Cellulose-Based Nanomaterial for the Remediation of Heavy Metal Contaminated Freshwaters: A Case-Study Showing the Recovery of Cadmium Induced DNA Integrity Loss, Cell Proliferation Increase, Nuclear Morphology and Chromosomal Alterations on Dreissena polymorpha
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(9), 1837; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10091837 - 14 Sep 2020
Abstract
The contamination of freshwaters by heavy metals represents a great problem, posing a threat for human and environmental health. Cadmium is classified as carcinogen to humans and its mechanism of carcinogenicity includes genotoxic events. In this study a recently developed eco-friendly cellulose-based nanosponge [...] Read more.
The contamination of freshwaters by heavy metals represents a great problem, posing a threat for human and environmental health. Cadmium is classified as carcinogen to humans and its mechanism of carcinogenicity includes genotoxic events. In this study a recently developed eco-friendly cellulose-based nanosponge (CNS) was investigated as a candidate in freshwater nano-remediation process. For this purpose, CdCl2 (0.05 mg L−1) contaminated artificial freshwater (AFW) was treated with CNS (1.25 g L−1 for 2 h), and cellular responses were analyzed before and after CNS treatment in Dreissena polymorpha hemocytes. A control group (AFW) and a negative control group (CNS in AFW) were also tested. DNA primary damage was evaluated by Comet assay while chromosomal damage and cell proliferation were assessed by Cytome assay. AFW exposed to CNS did not cause any genotoxic effect in zebra mussel hemocytes. Moreover, DNA damage and cell proliferation induced by Cd(II) turned down to control level after 2 days when CNS were used. A reduction of Cd(II)-induced micronuclei and nuclear abnormalities was also observed. CNS was thus found to be a safe and effective candidate in cadmium remediation process being efficient in metal sequestering, restoring cellular damage exerted by Cd(II) exposure, without altering cellular physiological activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Environmental and Biomedical Research)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Nanostructured Cellulose-Based Sorbent Materials for Water Decontamination from Organic Dyes
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(8), 1570; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081570 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Nanostructured materials have been recently proposed in the field of environmental remediation. The use of nanomaterials as building blocks for the design of nano-porous micro-dimensional systems is particularly promising since it can overcome the (eco-)toxicological risks associated with the use of nano-sized technologies. [...] Read more.
Nanostructured materials have been recently proposed in the field of environmental remediation. The use of nanomaterials as building blocks for the design of nano-porous micro-dimensional systems is particularly promising since it can overcome the (eco-)toxicological risks associated with the use of nano-sized technologies. Following this approach, we report here the application of a nanostructured cellulose-based material as sorbent for effective removal of organic dyes from water. It consists of a micro- and nano-porous sponge-like system derived by thermal cross-linking among (2,2,6,6-Tetramethylpiperidin-1-yl)oxyl (TEMPO)-oxidized cellulose nanofibers (TOCNF), branched polyethylenimine 25 kDa (bPEI), and citric acid (CA). The sorbent efficiency was tested for four different organic dyes commonly used for fabric printing (Naphthol Blue Black, Orange II Sodium Salt, Brilliant Blue R, Cibacron Brilliant Yellow), by conducting both thermodynamic and kinetic studies. The material performance was compared with that of an activated carbon, commonly used for this application, in order to highlight the potentialities and limits of this biomass-based new material. The possibility of regeneration and reuse of the sorbent was also investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Environmental and Biomedical Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Iron Oxide Nanoparticles as an Alternative to Antibiotics Additive on Extended Boar Semen
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(8), 1568; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081568 - 10 Aug 2020
Abstract
This study examined the effect of Fe3O4 nanoparticles on boar semen. Beltsville thawing solution without antibiotics was used to extend ejaculates from 5 boars (4 ejaculates/boar). Semen samples of control group (C) and group with Fe3O4 (Fe; [...] Read more.
This study examined the effect of Fe3O4 nanoparticles on boar semen. Beltsville thawing solution without antibiotics was used to extend ejaculates from 5 boars (4 ejaculates/boar). Semen samples of control group (C) and group with Fe3O4 (Fe; 0.192 mg/mL semen) were incubated under routine boar semen storage temperature (17 °C) for 0.5 h and nanoparticles were removed by a magnetic field. Before and after treatment, aliquots of all groups were cultured using standard microbiological methods. The samples after treatment were stored (17 °C) for 48 h and sperm parameters (computer-assisted sperm analyzer (CASA) variables; morphology; viability; hypo-osmotic swelling test (HOST); DNA integrity) were evaluated at storage times 0, 24, 48 h. Semen data were analyzed by a repeated measures mixed model and microbial data with Student’s t-test for paired samples. Regarding CASA parameters, Fe group did not differ from C at any time point. In group C, total motility after 24 h and progressive motility after 48 h of storage decreased significantly compared to 0 h. In group Fe, linearity (LIN) after 48 h and head abnormalities after 24 h of storage increased significantly compared to 0 h. The microbiological results revealed a significant reduction of the bacterial load in group Fe compared to control at both 24 and 48 h. In conclusion, the use of Fe3O4 nanoparticles during semen processing provided a slight anti-microbiological effect with no adverse effects on sperm characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Environmental and Biomedical Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Glass Ionomer Cement Modified by Resin with Incorporation of Nanohydroxyapatite: In Vitro Evaluation of Physical-Biological Properties
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(7), 1412; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10071412 - 19 Jul 2020
Abstract
Resin-modified glass ionomer cement (RMGIC) has important properties. However, like other restorative materials, it has limitations such as decreased biocompatibility. The incorporation of nanoparticles (NP) in the RMGIC resulted in improvements in some of its properties. The aim of this study was to [...] Read more.
Resin-modified glass ionomer cement (RMGIC) has important properties. However, like other restorative materials, it has limitations such as decreased biocompatibility. The incorporation of nanoparticles (NP) in the RMGIC resulted in improvements in some of its properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the physical-biological properties of RMGIC with the addition of nanohydroxyapatite (HANP). Material and Methods: Vitremer RMGIC was used, incorporating HANP by amalgamator, vortex and manual techniques, totaling ten experimental groups. The distribution and dispersion of the HANP were evaluated qualitatively by field emission scanning electron microscope (SEM-FEG). The evaluation of image porosity (SEM-FEG) with the help of imageJ. Cell viability 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazoline bromide (MTT) and cell morphology analyses were performed on MDPC-23 odontoblastoid cells at 24 and 72 h. Results: It was possible to observe good dispersion and distribution of HANP in the samples in all experimental groups. The incorporation of 5% HANP into the vortex stirred RMGIC resulted in fewer pores. The increase in the concentration of HANP was directly proportional to the decrease in cytotoxicity. Conclusions: It is concluded that the use of a vortex with the incorporation of 5% HANP is the most appropriate mixing technique when considering the smallest number of pores inside the material. A higher concentration of HANP resulted in better cell viability, suggesting that this association is promising for future studies of new restorative materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Environmental and Biomedical Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Toxicity, Bioaccumulation and Biotransformation of Glucose-Capped Silver Nanoparticles in Green Microalgae Chlorella vulgaris
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(7), 1377; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10071377 - 15 Jul 2020
Abstract
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are one of the most widely used nanomaterials in consumer products. When discharged into the aquatic environment AgNPs can cause toxicity to aquatic biota, through mechanisms that are still under debate, thus rendering the nanoparticles (NPs) effects evaluation a necessary [...] Read more.
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are one of the most widely used nanomaterials in consumer products. When discharged into the aquatic environment AgNPs can cause toxicity to aquatic biota, through mechanisms that are still under debate, thus rendering the nanoparticles (NPs) effects evaluation a necessary step. Different aquatic organism models, i.e., microalgae, mussels, Daphnia magna, sea urchins and Danio rerio, etc. have been largely exploited for NPs toxicity assessment. On the other hand, alternative biological microorganisms abundantly present in nature, i.e., microalgae, are nowadays exploited as a potential sink for removal of toxic substances from the environment. Indeed, the green microalgae Chlorella vulgaris is one of the most used microorganisms for waste treatment. With the aim to verify the possible involvement of C. vulgaris not only as a model microorganism of NPs toxicity but also for the protection toward NPs pollution, we used these microalgae to measure the AgNPs biotoxicity and bioaccumulation. In particular, to exclude any toxicity derived by Ag+ ions release, green chemistry-synthesised and glucose-coated AgNPs (AgNPs-G) were used. C. vulgaris actively internalised AgNPs-G whose amount increases in a time- and dose-dependent manner. The internalised NPs, found inside large vacuoles, were not released back into the medium, even after 1 week, and did not undergo biotransformation since AgNPs-G maintained their crystalline nature. Biotoxicity of AgNPs-G causes an exposure time and AgNPs-G dose-dependent growth reduction and a decrease in chlorophyll-a amount. These results confirm C. vulgaris as a bioaccumulating microalgae for possible use in environmental protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Environmental and Biomedical Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect-Based Approach to Assess Nanostructured Cellulose Sponge Removal Efficacy of Zinc Ions from Seawater to Prevent Ecological Risks
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(7), 1283; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10071283 - 30 Jun 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
To encourage the applicability of nano-adsorbent materials for heavy metal ion removal from seawater and limit any potential side effects for marine organisms, an ecotoxicological evaluation based on a biological effect-based approach is presented. ZnCl2 (10 mg L−1) contaminated artificial [...] Read more.
To encourage the applicability of nano-adsorbent materials for heavy metal ion removal from seawater and limit any potential side effects for marine organisms, an ecotoxicological evaluation based on a biological effect-based approach is presented. ZnCl2 (10 mg L−1) contaminated artificial seawater (ASW) was treated with newly developed eco-friendly cellulose-based nanosponges (CNS) (1.25 g L−1 for 2 h), and the cellular and tissue responses of marine mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis were measured before and after CNS treatment. A control group (ASW only) and a negative control group (CNS in ASW) were also tested. Methods: A significant recovery of Zn-induced damages in circulating immune and gill cells and mantle edges was observed in mussels exposed after CNS treatment. Genetic and chromosomal damages reversed to control levels in mussels’ gill cells (DNA integrity level, nuclear abnormalities and apoptotic cells) and hemocytes (micronuclei), in which a recovery of lysosomal membrane stability (LMS) was also observed. Damage to syphons, loss of cilia by mantle edge epithelial cells and an increase in mucous cells in ZnCl2-exposed mussels were absent in specimens after CNS treatment, in which the mantle histology resembled that of the controls. No effects were observed in mussels exposed to CNS alone. As further proof of CNS’ ability to remove Zn(II) from ASW, a significant reduction of >90% of Zn levels in ASW after CNS treatment was observed (from 6.006 to 0.510 mg L−1). Ecotoxicological evaluation confirmed the ability of CNS to remove Zn from ASW by showing a full recovery of Zn-induced toxicological responses to the levels of mussels exposed to ASW only (controls). An effect-based approach was thus proven to be useful in order to further support the environmentally safe (ecosafety) application of CNS for heavy metal removal from seawater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Environmental and Biomedical Research)
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Effects of Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles (TiO2NPs) on Cadmium Chloride (CdCl2) Genotoxicity in Human Sperm Cells
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(6), 1118; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10061118 - 05 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The environmental release of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2NPs) associated with their intensive use has been reported to have a genotoxic effect on male fertility. TiO2NP is able to bind and transport environmental pollutants, such as cadmium (Cd), modifying their [...] Read more.
The environmental release of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2NPs) associated with their intensive use has been reported to have a genotoxic effect on male fertility. TiO2NP is able to bind and transport environmental pollutants, such as cadmium (Cd), modifying their availability and/or toxicity. The aim of this work is to assess the in vitro effect of TiO2NPs and cadmium interaction in human sperm cells. Semen parameters, apoptotic cells, sperm DNA fragmentation, genomic stability and oxidative stress were investigated after sperm incubation in cadmium alone and in combination with TiO2NPs at different times (15, 30, 45 and 90 min). Our results showed that cadmium reduced sperm DNA integrity, and increased sperm DNA fragmentation and oxidative stress. The genotoxicity induced by TiO2NPs-cadmium co-exposure was lower compared to single cadmium exposure, suggesting an interaction of the substances to modulate their reactivity. The Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) computational method showed that the interaction between TiO2NPs and cadmium leads to the formation of a sandwich-like structure, with cadmium in the middle, which results in the inhibition of its genotoxicity by TiO2NPs in human sperm cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Environmental and Biomedical Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Bio-Mediated Synthesis of Reduced Graphene Oxide Nanoparticles from Chenopodium album: Their Antimicrobial and Anticancer Activities
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(6), 1096; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10061096 - 01 Jun 2020
Abstract
A novel method of preparing reduced graphene oxide (RGOX) from graphene oxide (GOX) was developed employing vegetable extract, Chenopodium album, as a reducing and stabilizing agent. Chenopodium album is a green leafy vegetable with a low shelf life, fresh leaves of this [...] Read more.
A novel method of preparing reduced graphene oxide (RGOX) from graphene oxide (GOX) was developed employing vegetable extract, Chenopodium album, as a reducing and stabilizing agent. Chenopodium album is a green leafy vegetable with a low shelf life, fresh leaves of this vegetable are encouraged to be used due to high water content. The previously modified ‘Hummers method’ has been in practice for the preparation of GOX by using precursor graphite powder. In this study, green synthesis of RGOX was functionally verified by employing FTIR and UV-visible spectroscopy, along with SEM and TEM. Our results demonstrated typical morphology of RGOX stacked in layers that appeared as silky, transparent, and rippled. The antibacterial activity was shown by analyzing minimal inhibitory concentration values, agar diffusion assay, fluorescence techniques. It showed enhanced antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria in comparison to GOX. It has also been shown that the synthesized compound exhibited enhanced antibiofilm activity as compared to its parent compound. The efficacy of RGOX and GOX has been demonstrated on a human breast cancer cell line, which suggested RGOX as a potential anticancer agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Environmental and Biomedical Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Silica-Coated Magnetic Nanoparticles Decrease Human Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Migratory Activity by Reducing Membrane Fluidity and Impairing Focal Adhesion
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(10), 1475; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9101475 - 17 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
For stem cell-based therapies, the fate and distribution of stem cells should be traced using non-invasive or histological methods and a nanomaterial-based labelling agent. However, evaluation of the biophysical effects and related biological functions of nanomaterials in stem cells remains challenging. Here, we [...] Read more.
For stem cell-based therapies, the fate and distribution of stem cells should be traced using non-invasive or histological methods and a nanomaterial-based labelling agent. However, evaluation of the biophysical effects and related biological functions of nanomaterials in stem cells remains challenging. Here, we aimed to investigate the biophysical effects of nanomaterials on stem cells, including those on membrane fluidity, using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, and traction force, using micropillars of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBM-MSCs) labelled with silica-coated magnetic nanoparticles incorporating rhodamine B isothiocyanate ([email protected]2(RITC)). Furthermore, to evaluate the biological functions related to these biophysical changes, we assessed the cell viability, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, intracellular cytoskeleton, and the migratory activity of [email protected]2(RITC)-treated hBM-MSCs. Compared to that in the control, cell viability decreased by 10% and intracellular ROS increased by 2-fold due to the induction of 20% higher peroxidized lipid in hBM-MSCs treated with 1.0 µg/µL [email protected]2(RITC). Membrane fluidity was reduced by [email protected]2(RITC)-induced lipid oxidation in a concentration-dependent manner. In addition, cell shrinkage with abnormal formation of focal adhesions and ~30% decreased total traction force were observed in cells treated with 1.0 µg/µL [email protected]2(RITC) without specific interaction between [email protected]2(RITC) and cytoskeletal proteins. Furthermore, the migratory activity of hBM-MSCs, which was highly related to membrane fluidity and cytoskeletal abnormality, decreased significantly after [email protected]2(RITC) treatment. These observations indicated that the migratory activity of hBM-MSCs was impaired by [email protected]2(RITC) treatment due to changes in stem-cell biophysical properties and related biological functions, highlighting the important mechanisms via which nanoparticles impair migration of hBM-MSCs. Our findings indicate that nanoparticles used for stem cell trafficking or clinical applications should be labelled using optimal nanoparticle concentrations to preserve hBM-MSC migratory activity and ensure successful outcomes following stem cell localisation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Environmental and Biomedical Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Pitch-Derived Activated Carbon Fibers for Emission Control of Low-Concentration Hydrocarbon
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(9), 1313; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9091313 - 14 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The unburned hydrocarbon (HC) emissions of automobiles are subject to strong regulations because they are known to be converted into fine dust, ozone, and photochemical smog. Pitch-based activated carbon fibers (ACF) prepared by steam activation can be a good solution for HC removal. [...] Read more.
The unburned hydrocarbon (HC) emissions of automobiles are subject to strong regulations because they are known to be converted into fine dust, ozone, and photochemical smog. Pitch-based activated carbon fibers (ACF) prepared by steam activation can be a good solution for HC removal. The structural characteristics of ACF were observed using X-ray diffraction. The pore characteristics were investigated using N2/77K adsorption isotherms. The butane working capacity (BWC) was determined according to ASTM D5228. From the results, the specific surface area and total pore volume of the ACF were determined to be 840–2630 m2/g and 0.33–1.34 cm3/g, respectively. The butane activity and butane retentivity of the ACF increased with increasing activation time and were observed to range between 15.78–57.33% and 4.19–11.47%, respectively. This indicates that n-butane adsorption capacity could be a function not only of the specific surface area or total pore volume but also of the sub-mesopore volume fraction in the range of 2.0–2.5 nm of adsorbents. The ACF exhibit enhanced BWC, and especially adsorption velocity, compared to commercial products (granules and pellets), with lower concentrations of n-butane due to a uniformly well-developed pore structure open directly to the outer surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Environmental and Biomedical Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Antagonistic Interactions between Benzo[a]pyrene and Fullerene (C60) in Toxicological Response of Marine Mussels
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 987; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9070987 - 08 Jul 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
This study aimed to assess the ecotoxicological effects of the interaction of fullerene (C60) and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) on the marine mussel, Mytilus galloprovincialis. The uptake of nC60, B[a]P and mixtures of nC60 and B[a]P into [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess the ecotoxicological effects of the interaction of fullerene (C60) and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) on the marine mussel, Mytilus galloprovincialis. The uptake of nC60, B[a]P and mixtures of nC60 and B[a]P into tissues was confirmed by Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry (GC–MS), Liquid Chromatography–High Resolution Mass Spectrometry (LC–HRMS) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP–MS). Biomarkers of DNA damage as well as proteomics analysis were applied to unravel the interactive effect of B[a]P and C60. Antagonistic responses were observed at the genotoxic and proteomic level. Differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) were only identified in the B[a]P single exposure and the B[a]P mixture exposure groups containing 1 mg/L of C60, the majority of which were downregulated (~52%). No DEPs were identified at any of the concentrations of nC60 (p < 0.05, 1% FDR). Using DEPs identified at a threshold of (p < 0.05; B[a]P and B[a]P mixture with nC60), gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis indicated that these proteins were enriched with a broad spectrum of biological processes and pathways, including those broadly associated with protein processing, cellular processes and environmental information processing. Among those significantly enriched pathways, the ribosome was consistently the top enriched term irrespective of treatment or concentration and plays an important role as the site of biological protein synthesis and translation. Our results demonstrate the complex multi-modal response to environmental stressors in M. galloprovincialis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Environmental and Biomedical Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Spectroscopic Study of the Salicyladazine Derivative–UO22+ Complex and Its Immobilization to Mesoporous Silica
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(5), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9050688 - 02 May 2019
Abstract
Uranyl ion, the most soluble toxic uranium species, is recognized as an important index for monitoring nuclear wastewater quality. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) prescribed 30 ppb as the allowable concentration of uranyl ion [...] Read more.
Uranyl ion, the most soluble toxic uranium species, is recognized as an important index for monitoring nuclear wastewater quality. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) prescribed 30 ppb as the allowable concentration of uranyl ion in drinking water. This paper reports on a nanohybrid material that can detect uranyl ions spectroscopically and act as a uranyl ion absorbent in an aqueous system. Compound 1, possessing a salicyladazine core and four acetic acid groups, was synthesized and the spectroscopic properties of its UO22+ complex were studied. Compound 1 had a strong blue emission when irradiated with UV light in the absence of UO22+ that was quenched in the presence of UO22+. According to the Job’s plot, Compound 1 formed a 1:2 complex with UO22+. When immobilized onto mesoporous silica, a small dose (0.3 wt %) of this hybrid material could remove 96% of UO22+ from 1 mL of a 100-ppb UO22+ aqueous solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Environmental and Biomedical Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Combination of Roll Grinding and High-Pressure Homogenization Can Prepare Stable Bicelles for Drug Delivery
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(12), 998; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8120998 - 03 Dec 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
To improve the solubility of the drug nifedipine (NI), NI-encapsulated lipid-based nanoparticles (NI-LNs) have been prepared from neutral hydrogenated soybean phosphatidylcholine and negatively charged dipalmitoylphosphatidylglycerol at a molar ratio of 5/1 using by roll grinding and high-pressure homogenization. The NI-LNs exhibited high entrapment [...] Read more.
To improve the solubility of the drug nifedipine (NI), NI-encapsulated lipid-based nanoparticles (NI-LNs) have been prepared from neutral hydrogenated soybean phosphatidylcholine and negatively charged dipalmitoylphosphatidylglycerol at a molar ratio of 5/1 using by roll grinding and high-pressure homogenization. The NI-LNs exhibited high entrapment efficiency, long-term stability, and enhanced NI bioavailability. To better understand their structures, cryo transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy were performed in the present study. Imaging from both instruments revealed that the NI-LNs were bicelles. Structures prepared with a different drug (phenytoin) or with phospholipids (dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine, dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine, and distearoylphosphatidylcholine) were also bicelles. Long-term storage, freeze-drying, and high-pressure homogenization did not affect the structures; however, different lipid ratios, or the presence of cholesterol, did result in liposomes (5/0) or micelles (0/5) with different physicochemical properties and stabilities. Considering the result of long-term stability, standard NI-LN bicelles (5/1) showed the most long-term stabilities, providing a useful preparation method for stable bicelles for drug delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Environmental and Biomedical Research)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Exposure Route of TiO2 NPs from Industrial Applications to Wastewater Treatment and Their Impacts on the Agro-Environment
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(8), 1469; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081469 - 27 Jul 2020
Abstract
The tremendous increase in the production and consumption of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) in numerous industrial products and applications has augmented the need to understand their role in wastewater treatment technologies. Likewise, the deleterious effects of wastewater on the environment [...] Read more.
The tremendous increase in the production and consumption of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) in numerous industrial products and applications has augmented the need to understand their role in wastewater treatment technologies. Likewise, the deleterious effects of wastewater on the environment and natural resources have compelled researchers to find out most suitable, economical and environment friendly approaches for its treatment. In this context, the use of TiO2 NPs as the representative of photocatalytic technology for industrial wastewater treatment is coming to the horizon. For centuries, the use of industrial wastewater to feed agriculture land has been a common practice across the globe and the sewage sludge generated from wastewater treatment plants is also used as fertilizer in agricultural soils. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of possible exposure pathways of these NPs, especially in the perspective of wastewater treatment and their impacts on the agro-environment. This review highlights the potential exposure route of TiO2 NPs from industrial applications to wastewater treatment and its impacts on the agro-environment. Key elements of the review present the recent developments of TiO2 NPs in two main sectors including wastewater treatment and the agro-environment along with their potential exposure pathways. Furthermore, the direct exposure routes of these NPs from production to end-user consumption until their end phase needs to be studied in detail and optimization of their suitable applications and controlled use to ensure environmental safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Environmental and Biomedical Research)
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Open AccessReview
Evaluation of Ecotoxicology Assessment Methods of Nanomaterials and Their Effects
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 610; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040610 - 26 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
This paper describes the ecotoxicological effects of nanomaterials (NMs) as well as their testing methods. Standard ecotoxicity testing methods are applicable to nanomaterials as well but require some adaptation. We have taken into account methods that meet several conditions. They must be properly [...] Read more.
This paper describes the ecotoxicological effects of nanomaterials (NMs) as well as their testing methods. Standard ecotoxicity testing methods are applicable to nanomaterials as well but require some adaptation. We have taken into account methods that meet several conditions. They must be properly researched by a minimum of ten scientific articles where adaptation of the method to the NMs is also presented; use organisms suitable for simple and rapid ecotoxicity testing (SSRET); have a test period shorter than 30 days; require no special equipment; have low costs and have the possibility of optimization for high-throughput screening. From the standard assays described in guidelines developed by organizations such as Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and United States Environmental Protection Agency, which meet the required conditions, we selected as methods adaptable for NMs, some methods based on algae, duckweed, amphipods, daphnids, chironomids, terrestrial plants, nematodes and earthworms. By analyzing the effects of NMs on a wide range of organisms, it has been observed that these effects can be of several categories, such as behavioral, morphological, cellular, molecular or genetic effects. By comparing the EC50 values of some NMs it has been observed that such values are available mainly for aquatic ecotoxicity, with the most sensitive test being the algae assay. The most toxic NMs overall were the silver NMs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Environmental and Biomedical Research)
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Open AccessReview
Current Applications of Nanoemulsions in Cancer Therapeutics
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(6), 821; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9060821 - 31 May 2019
Cited by 19
Abstract
Nanoemulsions are pharmaceutical formulations composed of particles within a nanometer range. They possess the capacity to encapsulate drugs that are poorly water soluble due to their hydrophobic core nature. Additionally, they are also composed of safe gradient excipients, which makes them a stable [...] Read more.
Nanoemulsions are pharmaceutical formulations composed of particles within a nanometer range. They possess the capacity to encapsulate drugs that are poorly water soluble due to their hydrophobic core nature. Additionally, they are also composed of safe gradient excipients, which makes them a stable and safe option to deliver drugs. Cancer therapy has been an issue for several decades. Drugs developed to treat this disease are not always successful or end up failing, mainly due to low solubility, multidrug resistance (MDR), and unspecific toxicity. Nanoemulsions might be the solution to achieve efficient and safe tumor treatment. These formulations not only solve water-solubility problems but also provide specific targeting to cancer cells and might even be designed to overcome MDR. Nanoemulsions can be modified using ligands of different natures to target components present in tumor cells surface or to escape MDR mechanisms. Multifunctional nanoemulsions are being studied by a wide variety of researchers in different research areas mainly for the treatment of different types of cancer. All of these studies demonstrate that nanoemulsions are efficiently taken by the tumoral cells, reduce tumor growth, eliminate toxicity to healthy cells, and decrease migration of cancer cells to other organs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Environmental and Biomedical Research)
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