Madrid, December 4 (Europa Press) .- An investigation, led by the University of Plymouth, in the United Kingdom, has investigated the absorption of nanopartics with commercially important molluscs, the large spider (Pecten maximus & 39;).
After six hours of exposure in the laboratory, billions of particles that measured 250 nanometer (nm) – about 0.00025 millimeters (mm) – had accumulated inside the spider shell intestines.
However, much smaller particles and even less than 20 nm, including the kidneys, mills, muscles and other organs, had been dispersed through the body. According to the authors, this is the first study to measure the nanopartics absorption under predictable conditions for the environment, and with previous research that has led to much higher concentrations than scientists believe in the oceans.
"For this experiment, we needed to develop a completely new scientific approach," explained Dr. Maya Al Sid Cheikh, a postdoctoral researcher at Plymouth University and the study director. We made plastic nanopartics in our laboratories and a label to trace the particles in the body of the scallops was incorporated into concentrations that are relevant to the environment. The results of the study show for the first time that marine organs can be absorbed rapidly by nanoparts, and in just a few hours they are distributed in most major organs ".
Professor Richard Thompson OBE, head of the University's International Marine Garbage Research Unit, adds that it is an "innovative" study, for the scientific approach and the findings. "We only open the gaps shells to the nanoparticles for a few hours and, despite transferring to cleaning conditions, the prints were still present several weeks later," he says.
In his view, understanding the dynamics of the number taken and discharging nanoparticles, as well as classification in body tissues, is essential to understand any potential effect on organisms. "We will use this method to guide research that analyzes the potential effects of nanoparts and, in particular, to consider the consequences of long-term exposure," he said.
Accepted to be published in the Environmental Science and Technology magazine, the study also included scientists from River River Laboratories in Elphinstone, Scotland; Maurice la Montagne Institute in Canada; and Heriot-Watt University, the United Kingdom.
It was held as part of RealRiskNano, a 1.1 million pound project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC, for its acronym in English). It is directed by Heriot-Watt and Plymouth, which explores the effects that microscopic plastic particles can have on the marine environment. In this study, the scallops were exposed to amounts of radio labeled radio nanopolystyrene and, after six hours, autoradiography was used to show the number of particles that exist in organs and tissues.
It was also used to show that 20 nm particles were no longer detected after 14 days, and it took 250 particles nm 48 days to disappear.
"Understanding whether plastic particles are absorbed through biological membranes and build up internal organs are essential to assess the risk that these particles represent for the organism and & # Human health. The new use of innovative radiolabeled plastic particles in Plymouth provides the most convincing evidence to date from the level of absorbent plastic particles in a marine organism, "comes to the Ted collection Henry, environmental poisoning professor at Heriot-Watt University.