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Crystalline phase-dependent eco-toxicity of titania nanoparticles to freshwater biofilms

Li, Kun, Qian, Jin, Wang, Peifang, Wang, Chao, Liu, Jingjing, Tian, Xin, Lu, Bianhe, Shen, Mengmeng
Environmental pollution 2017 v.231 pp. 1433-1441
Bacillariophyceae, Chlorophyta, Cyanobacteria, algae, apoptosis, biofilm, biomass, community structure, freshwater, irradiation, nanoparticles, necrosis, oxidative stress, photocatalysis, photosynthesis, reactive oxygen species, titanium dioxide, toxicity, ultraviolet radiation
The potential toxic impacts of different crystal phases of titania nanoparticles (TNPs) on freshwater biofilms, especially under ultraviolet C irradiation (UVC), are unknown. Here, adverse impacts of three phases (anatase, rutile, and P25, 50 mg L−1 respectively) with UVC irradiation (An-UV, Ru-UV, and P25-UV) on freshwater biofilms were conducted. Characterization experiments revealed that rutile TNPs had a higher water environment stability than anatase and P25 TNPs, possessing a stronger photocatalytic activity under UVC irradiation. Phase-dependent inhibition of cell viability and significant decreases of four- and five-fold in algal biomass at 12 h of exposure were observed compared with unexposed biofilms. Moreover, phase-dependent oxidative stress resulted in remarkably significant reductions (P < 0.01) of the photosynthetic yields of the biofilms, to 40.32% (P25-UV), 48.39% (An-UV), and 46.77% (Ru-UV) of the plateau value obtained in the unexposed biofilms. A shift in community composition that manifested as a strong reduction in diatoms, indicating cyanobacteria and green algae were more tolerant than diatoms when exposed to TNPs. In terms of the toxic mechanisms, rutile TNPs resulted in apoptosis by inducing excessive intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, whereas P25 and anatase TNPs tended to catalyze enormous acellular ROS lead to cell necrosis under UVC irradiation.