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Cutting-edge spectroscopy techniques highlight toxicity mechanisms of copper oxide nanoparticles in the aquatic plant $Myriophyllum\ spicatum$

Eva Roubeau Dumont 1 Arnaud Elger 1 Céline Azéma 1 Hiram Castillo Michel 2 Suzy Surble 3 Camille Larue 
2 ID21 Beamline
ESRF - European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
3 LEEL - UMR 3685 - Laboratoire d'Etudes des Eléments Légers
NIMBE UMR 3685 - Nanosciences et Innovation pour les Matériaux, la Biomédecine et l'Energie (ex SIS2M)
Abstract : Copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO-NPs) have been increasingly released in aquatic ecosystems over the past decades as they are used in many applications. Cu toxicity to different organisms has already been highlighted in the literature, however toxicity mechanisms of the nanoparticulate form remain unclear. Here, we investigated the effect, transfer and localization of CuO-NPs compared to Cu salt on the aquatic plant Myriophyllum spicatum, an ecotoxicological model species with a pivotal role in freshwater ecosystems, to establish a clear mode of action. Plants were exposed to 0.5 mg/L Cu salt, 5 and 70 mg/L CuO-NPs during 96 h and 10 days. Several morphological and physiological endpoints were measured. Cu salt was found more toxic than CuO-NPs to plants based on all the measured endpoints despite a similar internal Cu concentration demonstrated via Cu mapping by micro particle-induced X-ray emission (μPIXE) coupled to Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS). Biomacromolecule composition investigated by FTIR converged between 70 mg/L CuO-NPs and Cu salt treatments after 10 days. This demonstrates that the difference of toxicity comes from a sudden massive Cu$^{2+}$ addition from Cu salt similar to an acute exposure, versus a progressive leaching of Cu$^{2+}$ from CuO-NPs representing a chronic exposure. Understanding NP toxicity mechanisms can help in the future conception of safer by design NPs and thus diminishing their impact on both the environment and humans.
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Submitted on : Monday, October 11, 2021 - 11:54:41 AM
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Eva Roubeau Dumont, Arnaud Elger, Céline Azéma, Hiram Castillo Michel, Suzy Surble, et al.. Cutting-edge spectroscopy techniques highlight toxicity mechanisms of copper oxide nanoparticles in the aquatic plant $Myriophyllum\ spicatum$. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2021, 803, pp.150001. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150001⟩. ⟨cea-03335134⟩



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