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Modena, Italy

Gambardella C.,University of Genoa | Aluigi M.G.,University of Genoa | Ferrando S.,University of Genoa | Gallus L.,University of Genoa | And 4 more authors.
Aquatic Toxicology | Year: 2013

The objective of this study is to examine the toxicity of engineered nanoparticles (NPs) that are dispersed in sea water by using an in vivo model. Because many products of nanotechnology contain NPs and are commonly used and well-established in the market, the accidental release of NPs into the air and water is quite possible. Indeed, at the end of their life cycle, some NPs are inevitably released into waste water and can reach marine ecosystem and affect the organisms there. Although there are few data on the presence of NPs in the marine environment, our awareness of their potential impact on environmental and organismal health is growing. Shallow-water benthonic organisms such as sea urchins provide planktonic larvae as a trophic base for finfish juveniles and are exposed to water from estuaries and precipitation. Such organisms can therefore be directly affected by NPs that are dispersed into those media.We evaluated the effects of exposure to different concentrations of nanosilver, titanium oxide and cobalt NPs on the sperm of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus by analyzing the functionality and the morphology and biochemistry of the first developmental stages of the sea urchin.Sperm were exposed to sea water containing suspensions of NPs ranging from 0.0001. mg/L to 1. mg/L. Fertilization ability was not affected, but developmental anomalies were identified in embryos from the gastrula to pluteus stages, including morphological alterations of the skeletal rods. In addition, the enzymatic activity (cholinesterase, ChE) of the larvae was measured. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and propionylcholinesterase activity (PrChE) was affected in all of the exposed samples. The results did not vary consistently with the concentration of NP, but controls were significantly different from exposed samples. Exposure of sea urchin to these NPs may cause neurotoxic damage, and the altered ChE activity may be involved in skeletogenic aberrations. In conclusion, the sea urchin represents a suitable and sensitive model for testing the toxicity and effects of engineered NPs that are dispersed in sea water. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

Gambardella C.,National Research Council Italy | Gambardella C.,University of Genoa | Gallus L.,University of Genoa | Gatti A.M.,Nanodiagnostics srl | And 5 more authors.
Chemistry and Ecology | Year: 2014

Nanoparticles (NPs) contained in commercial products are released and enter into the aquatic ecosystem, posing serious possible risks to the environment and affecting the food chain. Therefore, investigating the potential toxicity of NPs on aquatic organisms has become an important issue. This study assessed the toxicity and trophic transfer of metal oxide NPs from marine microalgae (Cricosphaera elongata) to the larvae of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. Larvae (24 h old) were fed on 2000 cell mL-1 48 h of microalgae contaminated with 5 mg L-1 of several metal oxide NPs (SiO2, SnO2, CeO2, Fe3O4) for 15 days. Larval viability and development were monitored from the 4-arm stage to the 8-arm pluteus stage. A significant decrease in survival was observed in larvae fed with microalgae exposed to SiO2 and CeO2 NPs. Abnormal development, characterised by skeletal degeneration and altered rudiment growth, was observed in all larvae fed with contaminated NP algae. Our findings revealed that SiO2 and CeO2 NPs exerted a toxic effect in the trophic interaction analysed, by reducing sea urchin larval viability, and all metal oxide NPs induced toxicological effects. In conclusion, metal oxide NPs may enter the food chain and become bioavailable for marine organisms, affecting their development. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis. Source

Gatti A.M.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | Montanari S.,Nanodiagnostics srl
NATO Science for Peace and Security Series A: Chemistry and Biology | Year: 2012

Nanotechnologies offer numerous, very promising possibilities to solve old problems due to the matter properties at nanolevel. The opportunities presented are far-reaching, novel and unprecedented. But the enthusiasm for this revolution is tarnished by some concerns about the safety of nanoparticles for human and environment health. Their ability to negotiate the physiological barriers has already been demonstrated. The present study shows that unintentional, not engineered, nanopollution is already present in the environment, particularly because of the use of high-temperature combustion processes (internal-combustion engines, incinerators, high-technology weapons' explosion, etc.) and that presence contaminates humans, animals and environment. The paper takes into considerations public worldwide-known events where unintentional important release of nanoparticles occurred and discusses the effects that they induced in humans and animals. Biological samples affected by lymphoma, leukemia, and cancer of soft tissues of soldiers who served during the Gulf War and Balkan War and of people exposed to the 9/11 pollution are considered and specific analyses have been carried out in those pathological samples by means of Field Emission Gun Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with an Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy. These pieces of evidence induce to consider the role of nanoparticles and their impact on the human health with attention, also for their possible terroristic use. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

Myrzakhanova M.,Kokshetau State University | Myrzakhanova M.,University of Genoa | Gambardella C.,University of Genoa | Falugi C.,University of Genoa | And 5 more authors.
BioMed Research International | Year: 2013

Metal nanosolicoparticles are suspected to cause diseases in a number of organisms, including man. In this paper, we report the effects of nanosilver (Ag, 1-20 nm particles) on the early development of the zebrafish, a well-established vertebrate model. Embryos at the midgastrula stage were exposed to concentrations ranging from 100 to 0.001 mg/L to verify the effects on different endpoints: lethality, morphology, expression of cholinergic molecules, and development of the immune system. (1) Relative risk of mortality was exponential in the range between 0.001 and 10 mg/L. Exposure to 100 mg/L caused 100% death of embryos before reaching the tail-bud stage. (2) Developmental anomalies were present in the 72 h larvae obtained from embryos exposed to nanosilver: whole body length, decreased eye dimension, and slow response to solicitation by gentle touch with a needle tip, with a significant threshold at 0.1 mg/L. (3) Dose-dependent inhibition of acetylcholinesterase activity was significant among the exposures, except between 1 mg/L and 10 mg/L. (4) The distribution of CD41+ cells and of CDF/LIF-like immunoreactivity was altered according to the Ag concentration. The possible effect of nanosilver in impairing immune system differentiation through the inhibition of molecules related to the cholinergic system is discussed. © 2013 Marzhan Myrzakhanova et al. Source

Gatti A.M.,CNR Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics | Montanari S.,Nanodiagnostics srl | Capitani F.,Nanodiagnostics srl
NATO Science for Peace and Security Series B: Physics and Biophysics | Year: 2013

The study deals with the military firing range of Perdasdefogu (Sardinia-Italy) called PISQ, the activities there performed and the impact that some activities could have on human and animal health. The research started from some occurrences of evidence of diseases (a.k.a. Quirra Syndrome) among a population of 2,500 human inhabitants and an unknown number of animals, and proposes a novel type of investigation to verify whether the effects of military activities can trigger pathologies in humans. The investigation takes as starting point the analyses of the pathological tissues of inhabitants who developed cancers of the blood and the soft tissues. This was done by means of a Field Emission Gun Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope equipped with an X-ray microprobe of an Energy Dispersion System in order to detect micro- and nano-sized foreign bodies and identify their chemical composition. This method indicates the exposure the patients underwent by inhaling polluted air or ingesting polluted food. The investigation is based on the fact that the explosion of weapons hitting a target implies a temperature rise within the volume involved. The higher the temperature, the thinner are the particles (bomb + target) produced and aerosolized, thus allowing a higher possibility of particle internalization in the body. So, the study of the internalized particles compared with those produced by the different military activities through an environmental 1-year-long survey carried out by the Italian Ministry of Defense can give an idea if there is a coincidence of chemical composition. The pollution detected in the urban area of Mantua (Italy) is taken as a reference or control. The results indicate that in the pathological tissues of ten civilians, two soldiers who worked in the PISQ and five malformed lambs born of ewes that pastured in the firing range that there is the presence of nano-sized foreign bodies with chemical compositions that can be the results of bomb explosions and not of a usual urban environmental pollution. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

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