Project Title

Silver Nanoparticles: Emerging Environmental Contaminants in the Aquatic System

Authors' Affiliations

J. Kusi, Department of Environmental Health, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN P.R. Scheuerman, Department of Environmental Health, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN K.J. Maier, Department of Environmental Health, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

Location

RIPSHIN MTN. ROOM 130

Start Date

4-4-2018 2:40 PM

End Date

4-4-2018 2:55 PM

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Kurt Maier

Faculty Sponsor's Department

Environmental Health

Type

Oral Presentation

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Doctoral

Project's Category

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract Text

Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are tiny particles of silver with nanoscale dimensions (between 1 and 100 nm) and unique antimicrobial properties. AgNPs are potential environmental contaminants increasingly applied in consumer products. The effects on nontarget biological systems are not clearly defined. Research has shown that AgNPs may inhibit the function of bacteria responsible for organic matter decomposition, nutrient cycling, and control of pathogens population in the aquatic system. AgNPs have recently been detected in a treated municipal wastewater raising concerns about their potential risk to aquatic organisms. The microbial community in the sediment has a greater risk of AgNPs exposure, as metals in aquatic systems settle in the sediment. Studies have shown that microbial community growth and carbon sources utilization patterns were altered in response to AgNPs exposure in marine estuarine sediments. The antimicrobial activity of AgNPs in freshwater sediments may be different due to the water chemistry. Few studies have evaluated the toxicity of AgNPs in freshwater sediments due to the complex nature of their water chemistry. The current study investigated microbial community’s responses to AgNPs in sediments collected from a local stream. Microbial growth and activity assays were performed to determine whether AgNPs pose a risk to the microbial community in freshwater sediments. We found that AgNPs inhibited microbial growth, enzyme activity, and catabolic capabilities (P < 0.05). The number of viable bacterial cells and the ability of the microbial community to utilize different carbon sources decreased at 0.431 and 0.538 mg AgNPs kg-1 sediment, which are found within the estimated AgNPs concentration range in sediments. AgNPs inhibited the activity of glucosidase, an enzyme responsible for carbohydrate metabolism, but the activity of alkaline phosphatase was not affected. The current study demonstrates that AgNPs can inhibit the growth and functional diversity of beneficial microorganisms, which may affect the quality of surface waters and their designated uses. These adverse effects are expected due to the demonstrated antimicrobial properties of AgNPs incorporated in several commercial products. Toxicological data generated from this study could be incorporated in ecological risk assessment by regulatory agencies to assess the impacts of AgNPs on ecosystem systems.

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Apr 4th, 2:40 PM Apr 4th, 2:55 PM

Silver Nanoparticles: Emerging Environmental Contaminants in the Aquatic System

RIPSHIN MTN. ROOM 130

Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are tiny particles of silver with nanoscale dimensions (between 1 and 100 nm) and unique antimicrobial properties. AgNPs are potential environmental contaminants increasingly applied in consumer products. The effects on nontarget biological systems are not clearly defined. Research has shown that AgNPs may inhibit the function of bacteria responsible for organic matter decomposition, nutrient cycling, and control of pathogens population in the aquatic system. AgNPs have recently been detected in a treated municipal wastewater raising concerns about their potential risk to aquatic organisms. The microbial community in the sediment has a greater risk of AgNPs exposure, as metals in aquatic systems settle in the sediment. Studies have shown that microbial community growth and carbon sources utilization patterns were altered in response to AgNPs exposure in marine estuarine sediments. The antimicrobial activity of AgNPs in freshwater sediments may be different due to the water chemistry. Few studies have evaluated the toxicity of AgNPs in freshwater sediments due to the complex nature of their water chemistry. The current study investigated microbial community’s responses to AgNPs in sediments collected from a local stream. Microbial growth and activity assays were performed to determine whether AgNPs pose a risk to the microbial community in freshwater sediments. We found that AgNPs inhibited microbial growth, enzyme activity, and catabolic capabilities (P < 0.05). The number of viable bacterial cells and the ability of the microbial community to utilize different carbon sources decreased at 0.431 and 0.538 mg AgNPs kg-1 sediment, which are found within the estimated AgNPs concentration range in sediments. AgNPs inhibited the activity of glucosidase, an enzyme responsible for carbohydrate metabolism, but the activity of alkaline phosphatase was not affected. The current study demonstrates that AgNPs can inhibit the growth and functional diversity of beneficial microorganisms, which may affect the quality of surface waters and their designated uses. These adverse effects are expected due to the demonstrated antimicrobial properties of AgNPs incorporated in several commercial products. Toxicological data generated from this study could be incorporated in ecological risk assessment by regulatory agencies to assess the impacts of AgNPs on ecosystem systems.