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Title: Bioaccumulation, biological effects and trophic transfer of metal (oxide) nanoparticles in marine invertebrates
Author: Baker, Antony James
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2017
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The production and use of manufactured metal (oxide) nanoparticles has exploded in recent years as they are exploited for their novel physical and chemical properties. Cerium oxide NPs (CeO2NPs) help increase combustion in diesel engines and their reported ability to scavenge free radicals has been exploited in therapeutic treatments. Silver NPs (AgNPs) are now used in consumer products such as socks and sticking plasters due to their antibacterial properties. Once released into the environment, their ultimate fate is predicted to be the oceans The aims of this thesis are to investigate the bioaccumulation and biological effects (oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation) of CeO2NPs and AgNPs on the mussel Mytilus edulis, and to understand the potential for trophic transfer of CeO2NPs to the crab Carcinus maenas, and subsequent induced biological effects. It was found in acute exposures that, at the suggested regulatory limit of 3mg/l, less than 5% of a CeO2NP dose will be accumulated by the digestive gland of M. edulis within 4 hours, before being depurated over at least 56 hours. There were no significant biological effects of CeO2NPs, yet larger, micron-size particles had significant anti-oxidant effects. Most effects were transitory, returning to normal levels after 24 hours. In uptake comparisons between AgNPs and Ag-nanorods (AgNRs) at 10μg/l (towards the regulatory limit of 1.9μg/l), AgNRs were accumulated in the digestive gland within 2 hours, but were depurated by 4 hours. Similarity in accumulation between AgNPs and ionic Ag – including continuous accumulation in the gills over 48 hours – suggested dissolution was mostly responsible for this. Both nanoforms instigated isolated oxidative stress responses over 4-24 hours, yet none were significantly worse than AgNO3, which instigated the greatest suite of significant oxidative stress responses. In trophic transfer experiments C. maenas accumulated CeO2NPs in the hepatopancreas at less than 1% of the fed dose. Stomach accumulation was high but transitory, with most particles removed in the faeces. Gills were also a site of accumulation and it was thought that the haemolymph provided a route of transit between the digestive organs and the respiratory organs. This novel experiment used NPs crafted from 140Ce; changes in isotopic ratios of Ce in the crab following trophic transfer could therefore be used to determine absolute increases in concentration against high, and highly variable, background concentrations. There were no significant biological effects following trophic transfer of these 140CeO2NPs. It was found that the current regulatory limits are predicted to be sufficient to protect M. edulis and C. maenas from acute exposure to CeO2NPs and AgNPs, yet chronic exposures should be investigated since the relationship between the uptake and elimination rate of NPs will determine the extent of bioaccumulation and biological effects.
Supervisor: Galloway, Tamara S. Sponsor: DEFRA
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biosciences ; Nanoparticle ; Bioaccumulation ; Trophic Transfer ; Metal ; Mussel ; Crab