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Co, Zn and Ag-MOFs evaluation as biocidal materials towards photosynthetic organisms

Martín-Betancor, Keila, Aguado, Sonia, Rodea-Palomares, Ismael, Tamayo-Belda, Miguel, Leganés, Francisco, Rosal, Roberto, Fernández-Piñas, Francisca
The Science of the total environment 2017 v.595 pp. 547-555
Chlorophyta, Cyanobacteria, autotrophs, bioavailability, biofouling, chemical speciation, chlorophyll, cobalt, heavy metals, metal ions, seawater, silver, zinc
In the present study, the biocidal activity of three different metal organic frameworks (MOFs) based on Co (Co-SIM1), Zn (Zn-SIM1) and Ag (Ag-TAZ) has been evaluated towards one green alga and two cyanobacteria. These organisms are present in fresh- and seawater and take part in the early stages of the biofouling process. The biocidal activity of these materials was evaluated by measuring chlorophyll a concentration and by inhibition zone testing. After 24h of exposure the three different MOFs caused >50% of chlorophyll a concentration inhibition towards both cyanobacteria, however, although the green alga presented a great sensitivity for Ag-TAZ (reaching 90% of chlorophyll a concentration inhibition), it was much more resistant to the rest of MOFs. Bioavailability of these metals was studied using ICP-MS, the chemical speciation program Visual MINTEQ, and a heavy metal bioreporter bioanalytical tool. We have elucidated that the biocidal activity presented by these MOFs was due to the dissolved metals released from them and more exactly, it depended on the bioavailability presented by these metal ions, which was closely related with the free ion concentration. This article highlights the potential use of different MOFs as biocidal material towards photosynthetic organisms and reveals important differences in the sensitivity between these organisms that should be taken into account in order to increase the biocidal spectrum of these materials.