BT101 Ecology, Biodiversity & Evolution-I Assignment Spring 2019 Solution & Discussion
Write down the adverse affects of metallic and non metallic nanoparticles on aquatic ecosystem?
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BT101 Assignment solution
Public interest is developing toward the nanotechnology due to its needs and applications in many areas like industries, agriculture, business, medicines and public health. When the size of a material becomes very small then its physical and chemical properties can differ from the original material in bulk form. Very small size of microscopic or molecular size devices are building which are potentially been using in medicine, environmental protection, energy, and space exploration.
Effects of nanomaterials on the cell environment
There is no doubt of the power of small materials despite of this; there are open questions about the day to day use of nanoparticles in our lives and how they affect the environment? The important issue that need concentration in the near future, before abundant manufacturing of nanomaterials, is their toxicity to humans and impact on the environment particularly on the aquatic ecosystem. There are massive discussions about the characteristics of nanomaterials that can lead to sever and adverse biological effects, with the potential to cause toxicity. We have to understand that what happened when nanoparticles undergo bio-degradation in the cellular environment? When the nanoparticles accumulate in the cell environment, for example, they may lead to intracellular changes such as disruption of organelle integrity or gene alternations.
Fate of NPs in aquatic ecosystem
The most important processes that affect the fate of nano-particles in aquatic systems are,
and transformation into new solid phases
Agglomeration or aggregation of nanoparticles lead to the formation of larger particles, which, then, be removed from the water body and transported to the sediments. It is expected that dissolution reactions of NP play an important role in their toxicity production because they release the toxic metal ions from the NPs, particular Ag+ from AgNP, Cu2+ from elemental Cu or from CuO NP, Zn2+ from ZnO, Cd2+ from quantum BT101 Assignment
dots (e.g., CdSe, CdTe). Toxicity to the aquatic organisms due to these ions is well known and mainly depends on concentration of these ions in the solution.
Toxicity of nanoparticles in the aquatic ecosystem
The protein binding as well as other bio-molecules to NP mainly depends upon the electrostatic forces but interaction between the functional group and metal surface may play a vital role in this regard. This interaction can affect cell functions by,
blocking access to binding domains of ligands, cofactors or DNA,
or by inducing conformational changes in proteins and protein complexes.
Bio-molecules may also be modified by ROS (reactive oxygen species ). The reactice oxygen species can be produced directly or through released metal ions, and then they induce DNA damage, lipid peroxidation and oxidative protein damage. The most specific modification of proteins that is caused by oxidative stress is carbonylation of amino acids due to which cleavage of the protein backbone or amino acid side chains is observed. Protein carbonylation together with ubiquitination was for instance shown to be induced by AuNP in the blue mussle Mytilus edulis. TiO2 NP also significantly increased the antioxidant enzyme activity in water Daphania magna leading to a dose-dependent increase of catalase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione-S-transferase. The cause of protein oxidation is thermodynamic instability of secondary and tertiary structure of proteins, which leads to exposed hydrophobic amino acids and resulted in aggregation and loss of enzymatic activity.
The key concept to understand the toxicity of NPs is their very small size that allow them to penetrate in the basic biological structures leading to the disruption of their normal functions. Examples of toxic effects are,
Altered cellular redox balance with increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), causing abnormal function, cell damage and death.
When NPs and biological fluids come in contact with each other they immediately interact with the bio-molecules present changing the physio-cochemical properties of the NPs, by affecting their zeta potential, their size and the functional groups exposed to the bulk solution. They also affect the biological functioning of the bound bio-molecules by bringing the conformational changes in the protein molecules. BT101 Assignment
The toxicity of nanoparticles in water mostly depends on both the size and surface chemistry of nanoparticles. Aggregation of nanoparticles thus becomes critical in understanding toxicity, because of the relationship between aggregation state, size, and observed effects.
If we want to evaluate the risk of NPs in the aquatic environment, we need proper knowledge for the synthesis of NPs that covers physical, chemical and biological aspects of NP behavior and NP–biota interaction. A useful framework is to acknowledge the similarity of processes taking place in either the abiotic or biotic environment.