Shape and charge of gold nanomaterials influence survivorship, oxidative stress and moulting of Daphnia magna

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are materials with at least one dimension between 1-100 nm. The small size of ENMs results in a large surface area to volume ratio, giving ENMs novel characteristics that are not traditionally exhibited by larger bulk materials. Coupled with large surface area is an enormous capacity for surface functionalization of ENMs, e.g., with different ligands or surface changes, leading to an almost infinite array of variability of ENMs. Here we explore the effects of various shaped (spheres, rods) and charged (negative, positive) gold ENMs on Daphnia magna (D. magna) in terms of survival, ENM uptake and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), a key factor in oxidative stress responses. We also investigate the effects of gold ENMs binding to the carapace of D. magna and how this may induce moulting inhibition in addition to toxicity and stress. The findings suggest that ENM shape and surface charge play an important role in determining ENM uptake and toxicity.


Original languageEnglish
Article number222
Issue number12
Early online date25 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • Daphnia magna, Ecotoxicology, Nano-safety, Oxidative stress, Surface charge