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Biologically safe colloidal suspensions of naked iron oxide nanoparticles for in situ antibiotic suppression

Magro, Massimiliano, Baratella, Davide, Molinari, Simone, Venerando, Andrea, Salviulo, Gabriella, Chemello, Giulia, Olivotto, Ike, Zoppellaro, Giorgio, Ugolotti, Juri, Aparicio, Claudia, Tucek, Jiri, Fifi, Anna P., Radaelli, Giuseppe, Zboril, Radek, Vianello, Fabio
Colloids and surfaces 2019 v.181 pp. 102-111
Danio rerio, Escherichia coli, animal models, antibacterial properties, bacteria, colloidal properties, colloids, drugs, ferric oxide, ligands, maghemite, magnetism, nanoparticles, oxytetracycline, remediation, tanks, toxicity
A category of naked maghemite nanoparticles (γ-Fe2O3), named surface active maghemite nanoparticles (SAMNs), is characterized by biological safety, high water colloidal stability and a surface chemistry permitting the binding of ligands. In the present study, the interaction between SAMNs and an antibiotic displaying chelating properties (oxytetracycline, OxyTC) was extensively structurally and magnetically characterized. OxyTC emerged as an ideal probe for providing insights into the colloidal properties of SAMNs. At the same time, SAMNs turned out as an elective tool for water remediation from OxyTC. Therefore, a dilute colloidal suspension of SAMNs was used for the removal of OxyTC in large volume tanks where, to simulate a real in situ application, a population of zebrafish (Danio rerio) was introduced. Interestingly, SAMNs led to the complete removal of the drug without any sign of toxicity for the animal model. Moreover, OxyTC immobilized on SAMNs surface resulted safe for sensitive Escherichia coli bacteria strain. Thus, SAMNs were able to recover the drug and to suppress its antibiotic activity envisaging their feasibility as competitive option for water remediation from OxyTC in more nature related scenarios. The present contribution stimulates the use of novel smart colloidal materials to cope with complex environmental issues.