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Novel assay for the toxicity evaluation of nanoscale zero-valent iron and derived nanomaterials based on lipid peroxidation in bacterial species

Semerád, Jaroslav, Čvančarová, Monika, Filip, Jan, Kašlík, Josef, Zlotá, Jana, Soukupová, Jana, Cajthaml, Tomáš
Chemosphere 2018 v.213 pp. 568-577
Escherichia coli, bacteria, cell membranes, dose response, ecosystems, glutathione, iron, lactate dehydrogenase, lipid peroxidation, malondialdehyde, median effective concentration, nanomaterials, oxidative stress, reactive oxygen species, remediation, toxicity, toxicity testing
Nano-scale zero-valent iron (nZVI) began attracting research attention in remediation practice in recent decades as a prospective nanomaterial applicable to various contaminated matrices. Despite concerns about the negative effects of nanomaterials on ecosystems, the number of reliable toxicity tests is limited. We have developed a test based on the evaluation of oxidative stress (OS). The test employed the analysis of a typical OS marker (malondialdehyde, MDA), after exposure of six bacterial strains to the tested nanomaterial. We also attempted to use other OS and cell membrane damage assays, including the determination of glutathione and lactate dehydrogenase, respectively. However, we found that the components of these assays interfered with nZVI; therefore, these tests were not applicable. The MDA assay was tested using nZVI and three newly engineered oxide shell nZVI materials with different oxide thicknesses. Six different bacterial species were employed, and the results showed that the test was fully applicable for the concentrations of nanomaterials used in remediation practice (0.1–10 g/L). MDA was produced in a dose-response manner, and the bacteria showed a similar response toward pure pyrophoric nZVI, reaching EC50 values of 0.3–1.1 g/L. We observed different responses in the absolute production of MDA; however, the MDA concentrations were correlated with the cell membrane surfaces of the individual strains (R > 0.75; P < 0.09). Additionally, the EC50 values correlated with the thickness of the oxide shells (except for Escherichia coli: R > 0.95; P < 0.05), documenting the reliability of the assay, where reactivity was confirmed to be an important factor for reactive oxygen species production.