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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2014, Vol.9(2), p.e90559
    Description: In this study, we evaluated hydrodynamic chromatography (HDC) coupled with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) for the analysis of nanoparticles in environmental samples. Using two commercially available columns (Polymer Labs-PDSA type 1 and 2), a set of well characterised calibrants and a new external time marking method, we showed that flow rate and eluent composition have few influence on the size resolution and, therefore, can be adapted to the sample particularity. Monitoring the agglomeration of polystyrene nanoparticles over time succeeded without observable disagglomeration suggesting that even weak agglomerates can be measured using HDC. Simultaneous determination of gold colloid concentration and size using ICP-MS detection was validated for elemental concentrations in the ppb range. HDC-ICP-MS was successfully applied to samples containing a high organic and ionic background. Indeed, online combination of UV-visible, fluorescence and ICP-MS detectors allowed distinguishing between organic molecules and inorganic colloids during the analysis of Ag nanoparticles in synthetic surface waters and TiO₂ and ZnO nanoparticles in commercial sunscreens. Taken together, our results demonstrate that HDC-ICP-MS is a flexible, sensitive and reliable method to measure the size and the concentration of inorganic colloids in complex media and suggest that there may be a promising future for the application of HDC in environmental science. Nonetheless the rigorous measurements of agglomerates and of matrices containing natural colloids still need to be studied in detail.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 2011, Vol.6(5), p.e20112
    Description: The production and use of nanoparticles (NP) has steadily increased within the last decade; however, knowledge about risks of NP to human health and ecosystems is still scarce. Common knowledge concerning NP effects on freshwater organisms is largely limited to standard short-term (≤48 h) toxicity tests, which lack both NP fate characterization and an understanding of the mechanisms underlying toxicity. Employing slightly longer exposure times (72 to 96 h), we found that suspensions of nanosized (∼100 nm initial mean diameter) titanium dioxide (nTiO 2 ) led to toxicity in Daphnia magna at nominal concentrations of 3.8 (72-h EC 50 ) and 0.73 mg/L (96-h EC 50 ). However, nTiO 2 disappeared quickly from the ISO-medium water phase, resulting in toxicity levels as low as 0.24 mg/L (96-h EC 50 ) based on measured concentrations. Moreover, we showed that nTiO 2 (∼100 nm) is significantly more toxic than non-nanosized TiO 2 (∼200 nm) prepared from the same stock suspension. Most importantly, we hypothesized a mechanistic chain of events for nTiO 2 toxicity in D. magna that involves the coating of the organism surface with nTiO 2 combined with a molting disruption. Neonate D. magna (≤6 h) exposed to 2 mg/L nTiO 2 exhibited a “biological surface coating” that disappeared within 36 h, during which the first molting was successfully managed by 100% of the exposed organisms. Continued exposure up to 96 h led to a renewed formation of the surface coating and significantly reduced the molting rate to 10%, resulting in 90% mortality. Because coating of aquatic organisms by manmade NP might be ubiquitous in nature, this form of physical NP toxicity might result in widespread negative impacts on environmental health.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology ; Chemistry ; Earth Sciences ; Materials Science ; Medicine ; Chemistry ; Public Health And Epidemiology ; Marine And Aquatic Sciences ; Ecology ; Critical Care And Emergency Medicine ; Science Policy ; Biochemistry ; Non-clinical Medicine
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2018, Vol.13(6), p.e0199132
    Description: The application of engineered silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in a considerable amount of registered commercial products inevitably will result in the continuous release of AgNPs into the natural aquatic environment. Therefore, native biofilms, as the prominent life form of microorganisms in almost all known ecosystems, will be subjected to AgNP exposure. Despite the exponentially growing research activities worldwide, it is still difficult to assess nanoparticle-mediated toxicity in natural environments. In order to obtain an ecotoxicologically relevant exposure scenario, we performed experiments with artificial stream mesocosm systems approaching low dose AgNP concentrations close to predicted environmental concentrations. Pregrown freshwater biofilms were exposed for 14 days to citrate-stabilized AgNPs at a concentration of 600 μg l-1 in two commonly used sizes (30 and 70 nm). Sublethal effects of AgNP treatment were assessed with regard to biofilm structure by gravimetric measurements (biofilm thickness and density) and by two biomass parameters, chlorophyll a and protein content. The composition of bacterial biofilm communities was characterized by t-RFLP fingerprinting combined with phylogenetic studies based on the 16S gene. After 14 days of treatment, the structural parameters of the biofilm such as thickness, density, and chlorophyll a and protein content were not statistically significantly changed by AgNP exposure. Furthermore, t-RFLP fingerprint analysis showed that the bacterial diversity was not diminished by AgNPs, as calculated by Shannon Wiener and evenness indices. Nevertheless, t-RFLP analysis also indicated that AgNPs led to an altered biofilm community composition as was shown by cluster analysis and multidimensional scaling (MDS) based on the Bray Curtis index. Sequence analysis of cloned 16S rRNA genes further revealed that changes in community composition were related with the displacement of putatively AgNP-sensitive bacterial taxa Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, and Cyanobacteria by taxa known for their enhanced adaptability towards metal stress, such as Acidobacteria, Sphingomonadales, and Comamonadaceae. This measurable community shift, even after low dose AgNP treatment, causes serious concerns with respect to the broad application of AgNPs and their potentially adverse impact on the ecological function of lotic biofilms, such as biodegradation or biostabilization.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, May 2, 2018, Vol.13(5), p.e0195479
    Description: Laser-induced cell transfer has been developed in recent years for the flexible and gentle printing of cells. Because of the high transfer rates and the superior cell survival rates, this technique has great potential for tissue engineering applications. However, the fact that material from an inorganic sacrificial layer, which is required for laser energy absorption, is usually transferred to the printed target structure, constitutes a major drawback of laser based cell printing. Therefore alternative approaches using deep UV laser sources and protein based acceptor films for energy absorption, have been introduced. Nevertheless, deep UV radiation can introduce DNA double strand breaks, thereby imposing the risk of carcinogenesis. Here we present a method for the laser-induced transfer of hydrogels and mammalian cells, which neither requires any sacrificial material for energy absorption, nor the use of UV lasers. Instead, we focus a near infrared femtosecond (fs) laser pulse ([lambda] = 1030 nm, 450 fs) directly underneath a thin cell layer, suspended on top of a hydrogel reservoir, to induce a rapidly expanding cavitation bubble in the gel, which generates a jet of material, transferring cells and hydrogel from the gel/cell reservoir to an acceptor stage. By controlling laser pulse energy, well-defined cell-laden droplets can be transferred with high spatial resolution. The transferred human (SCP1) and murine (B16F1) cells show high survival rates, and good cell viability. Time laps microscopy reveals unaffected cell behavior including normal cell proliferation.
    Keywords: Femtosecond Lasers -- Usage ; Tissue Engineering ; Cells (Biology) ; Radiation (Physics)
    ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2013, Vol.8(6), p.e65359
    Description: It is assumed to be common knowledge that multivalent cations cross-link soil organic matter (SOM) molecules via cation bridges (CaB). The concept has not been explicitly demonstrated in solid SOM by targeted experiments, yet. Therefore, the requirements for and characteristics of CaB remain unidentified. In this study, a combined experimental and molecular modeling approach was adopted to investigate the interaction of cations on a peat OM from physicochemical perspective. Before treatment with salt solutions of Al(3+), Ca(2+) or Na(+), respectively, the original exchangeable cations were removed using cation exchange resin. Cation treatment was conducted at two different values of pH prior to adjusting pH to 4.1. Cation sorption is slower (〉〉2 h) than deprotonation of functional groups (〈2 h) and was described by a Langmuir model. The maximum uptake increased with pH of cation addition and decreased with increasing cation valency. Sorption coefficients were similar for all cations and at both pH. This contradicts the general expectations for electrostatic interactions, suggesting that not only the interaction chemistry but also spatial distribution of functional groups in OM determines binding of cations in this peat. The reaction of contact angle, matrix rigidity due to water molecule bridges (WaMB) and molecular mobility of water (NMR analysis) suggested that cross-linking via CaB has low relevance in this peat. This unexpected finding is probably due to the low cation exchange capacity, resulting in low abundance of charged functionalities. Molecular modeling demonstrates that large average distances between functionalities (∼3 nm in this peat) cannot be bridged by CaB-WaMB associations. However, aging strongly increased matrix rigidity, suggesting successive increase of WaMB size to connect functionalities and thus increasing degree of cross-linking by CaB-WaMB associations. Results thus demonstrated that the physicochemical structure of OM is decisive for CaB and aging-induced structural reorganisation can enhance cross-link formation.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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