John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Ecotoxicity of bare and coated silver nanoparticles in the aquatic midge, Chironomus riparius

While sediment is generally considered to be the major sink for nanomaterials in aquatic environments, few studies have addressed the ecotoxicity of nanomaterials in the presence of sediment. In this study, the ecotoxicity of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) with a range of organic coatings was examined in a freshwater sediment dwelling organism, Chironomus riparius, using acute and chronic ecotoxicity endpoints, including molecular indicators. The toxicity of AgNPs coated with different organic materials, such as polyvinylpyrrolidone, gum arabic and citrate, to C. riparius was compared with that of bare‐AgNPs and AgNO3 (ionic silver). Total silver and ionic silver concentrations were also measured to monitor the behavior of the AgNPs in water and sediment and to determine how ion dissolution affects the toxicity of all AgNPs. The coated and bare AgNPs caused DNA damage and oxidative stress related genes expression. In addition, the bare AgNPs and AgNO3 had a significant effect on development and reproduction. The surface coatings generally mitigated the toxicity of AgNPs to C. riparius, which can be explained by the reduced amount of ions released from coated AgNPs. Citrate‐AgNPs caused the most significant alteration at the molecular level but this did not translate to higher‐level effects. Finally, comparing previously conducted studies on AgNPs‐induced gene expression without sediments, we show the presence of sediment appears to mitigate the toxicity of AgNPs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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