Toxicological effects of functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) on embryonic zebrafish (Danio rerio)

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Since their discovery in 1993, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have played an integral role in nanotechnology and have been extensively studied due to their unique structural, electrical and mechanical properties. Chemical functionalization and coating of SWCNTs can improve their solubility in water and organic solvents to allow use in solution-based techniques and extend range of applications. We tested 1) aqueous lignin-wrapped 10-20nm and 2) carboxy-functionalized 10-20 nm SWCNTs, manufactured by the National Research Council – Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences (NRC-SIMS), to determine the effect of different degrees of solubility. To determine the toxicological effect, we exposed zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos over a 72-hour period to a range (1, 10, 50, 100 and 200mg/L) of functionalized and un-functionalized SWCNTs as a paired control following Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) guidelines. Toxicological endpoints such as lethality, hatch inhibition and changes in gene expression were measured. While preliminary results show no significant difference in survival and hatch compared to control, effects may occur at the molecular level. Our goal was to determine the toxicological effects of different degrees of functionalized SWCNTs at whole animal and molecular levels.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Nanotechnology 2012: Bio Sensors, Instruments, Medical, Environment and Energy (Volume 3)
Published: June 18, 2012
Pages: 327 - 330
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Energy & Sustainability
Topic: Environmental Health & Safety of Nanomaterials
ISBN: 978-1-4665-6276-9