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Comparative ecotoxicity assessment of magnetosomes and magnetite nanoparticles

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Magnetite nanoparticles (MNPs) are gaining attention because of their biomedical, environmental and industrial applications. However, they have limited uses because of ecotoxicity. On contrast, bacterially synthesized MNPs such as magnetosomes are found to be biocompatible and less toxic due to the lipid bilayer membrane found around magnetite. In this context, this study compares the physio-chemical properties and toxicology effects of MNPs and magnetosomes in different models such as human red blood cells, macrophage cell lines (RAW 264.7), onion root tips (Allium cepa), Artemia salina (A. salina) and zebrafish embryo (Danio rerio). MNPs showed 38.59% hemolysis whereas the maximum hemolysis induced by magnetosomes was 7.03% for the same concentration (250 μg/ml). The cytotoxicity of MNPs and magnetosomes were 36.01% and 13.4%, respectively, at 250 μg/ml. Onion root tip assay revealed high toxicity when treated with MNPs than magnetosomes. The MNPs were further tested for its toxicity against A. salina and 50% mortality rate was observed. Similarly, notable malformation was seen in zebrafish embryo treated with MNPs. However, magnetosomes did not exhibit any mortality and malformation in A. salina and zebrafish embryo. The study revealed that magnetosomes are safe and do not cause any potential risk to environment compared to synthetic MNPs.

Abbreviation: MNPs: Magnetic nanoparticles; ATCC: American Type Culture Collection; MTB: Magnetotactic bacteria; MSR-1: Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense; DSMZ: Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen; MSGM: Magnetospirillum growth medium; D-PBS: Dulbecco phosphate buffer saline; RBC: Red blood cells; SEM: Scanning electron microscopy; HRTEM: High-resolution transition electron microscope; FTIR: Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy; XRD: X-ray powder diffraction; AFM: Atomic-force microscopy; ZP: Zeta Potential; PSD: Particle Size Distribution; EDX: Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy; PBS: Phosphate buffer saline; DMEM: Dulbecco’s modified eagle medium; HEPES: (4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid); MTT:3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide; DMSO: Dimethyl sulfoxide; ROS: Reactive oxygen species
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Keywords: Artemia salina; Magnetosomes; Zebrafish embryo; ecotoxicity; magnetite nanoparticles

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Marine Biotechnology and Bioproducts Laboratory, School of Biosciences and Technology, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, India

Publication date: January 2, 2020

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