• Exploring uptake and biodistribution of polystyrene (nano)particles in zebrafish embryos at different developmental stages.

      van Pomeren, M; Brun, N R; Peijnenburg, W J G M; Vijver, M G (2017-09)
      In ecotoxicology, it is continuously questioned whether (nano)particle exposure results in particle uptake and subsequent biodistribution or if particles adsorb to the epithelial layer only. To contribute to answering this question, we investigated different uptake routes in zebrafish embryos and how they affect particle uptake into organs and within whole organisms. This is addressed by exposing three different life stages of the zebrafish embryo in order to cover the following exposure routes: via chorion and dermal exposure; dermal exposure; oral and dermal exposure. How different nanoparticle sizes affect uptake routes was assessed by using polystyrene particles of 25, 50, 250 and 700nm. In our experimental study, we showed that particle uptake in biota is restricted to oral exposure, whereas the dermal route resulted in adsorption to the epidermis and gills only. Ingestion followed by biodistribution was observed for the tested particles of 25 and 50nm. The particles spread through the body and eventually accumulated in specific organs and tissues such as the eyes. Particles larger than 50nm were predominantly adsorbed onto the intestinal tract and outer epidermis of zebrafish embryos. Embryos exposed to particles via both epidermis and intestine showed highest uptake and eventually accumulated particles in the eye, whereas uptake of particles via the chorion and epidermis resulted in marginal uptake. Organ uptake and internal distribution should be monitored more closely to provide more in depth information of the toxicity of particles.
    • Importance of exposure dynamics of metal-based nano-ZnO, -Cu and -Pb governing the metabolic potential of soil bacterial communities.

      Zhai, Yujia; Hunting, Ellard R; Wouterse, Marja; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M; Vijver, Martina G (2017-11)
      Metal-based engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are known to affect bacterial processes and metabolic activities. While testing their negative effects on biological components, studies traditionally rely on initial exposure concentrations and thereby do not take into consideration the dynamic behavior of ENMs that ultimately determines exposure and toxicity (e.g. ion release). Moreover, functional responses of soil microbial communities to ENMs exposure can be caused by both the particulate forms and the ionic forms, yet their relative contributions remain poorly understood. Therefore, we investigated the dynamic changes of exposure concentrations of three different types of ENMs (nano-ZnO, -Cu and -Pb) and submicron particles (SMPs) in relation to their impact on the capacity of soil bacterial communities to utilize carbon substrates. The different ENMs were chosen to differ in dissolution potential. The dynamic exposures of ENMs were considered using a time weighted average (TWA) approach. The joint toxicity of the particulate forms and the ionic forms of ENMs was evaluated using a response addition model. Our results showed that the effect concentrations of spherical nano-ZnO, -Cu and SMPs, and Pb-based perovskites expressed as TWA were lower than expressed as initial concentrations. Both particulate forms and ionic forms of spherical 18nm, 43nm nano-ZnO and 50nm, 100nm nano-Cu contribute to the overall response at the EC50 levels. The particulate forms for 150nm, 200nm and 900nm ZnO SMPs and rod-shaped 78nm nano-Cu mainly affected the soil microbial metabolic potential, while the Cu ions released from spherical 25nm nano-Cu, 500nm Cu SMPs and Pb ions released from perovskites mainly described the effects to bacterial communities. Our results indicate that the dynamic exposure of ENMs and relative contributions of particles and ions require consideration in order to pursue a naturally realistic assessment of environmental risks of metal-based ENMs.