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A critical viewpoint on current issues, limitations, and future research needs on micro- and nanoplastic studies: From the detection to the toxicological assessment.

Barbosa, Fernando, Adeyemi, Joseph A., Bocato, Mariana Zuccherato, Comas, Ahmed, Campiglia, Andres
Environmental research 2020 v.182 pp. 109089
data quality, ecosystems, humans, nanoplastics, toxicity, toxicity testing
Increasing scientific attention on the presence of micro- and nanoplastics (MNPs) in the environments and their potential toxic effects on humans and the ecosystems is evident. Accordingly, the number of publications on this topic has increased substantially from only 5 in 2010 to more than 850 in 2019. Thus, this critical review aimed at providing state-of-the-art information on the existing methods for characterization and detection of MNPs in various matrices, as well as the reported toxic effects of MNPs in both in vivo and in vitro systems, anticipating challenges and providing future needs to improve the current scientific knowledge. We performed a systematic search of recent literature on available methodologies for the characterization/detection of MNPs in different samples, and the summary of such protocols is provided. Also, the existing procedures for in vitro and in vivo toxicity evaluation of MNPs were critically described. The results of our search revealed that quite a great deal of effort had been made to detect, characterize, and quantify the fate and effect of MNPs. However, we are still far from a complete understanding of behaviors of MNPs in the environments and biological systems. Thus, there is a need to advance the existing protocols to improve data accuracy. Besides, more studies that focus on uptake kinetics, accumulation, and biodistribution of MNPs in biological systems are required.