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Aquat Toxicol. 2014 Jan;146:28-37. doi: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2013.10.029. Epub 2013 Nov 7.

Toxic effect of Cr(VI) in presence of n-TiO2 and n-Al2O3 particles towards freshwater microalgae.

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  • 1Centre for Nanobiotechnology, VIT University, Vellore, India.
  • 2Centre for Nanobiotechnology, VIT University, Vellore, India. Electronic address:


The reactivity and toxicity of the soluble toxicants in the presence of the engineered nanomaterials is not well explored. In this study, the probable effects of TiO2 and Al2O3 nanoparticles (n-TiO2, n-Al2O3) on the toxicity of Cr(VI) were assessed with the dominant freshwater algae, Scenedesmus obliquus, in a low range of exposure concentrations (0.05, 0.5 and 1μg/mL). In the presence of 0.05μg/mL n-TiO2, the toxicity of Cr(VI) decreased considerably, which was presumably due to the Cr(VI) adsorption on the nanoparticle surface leading to its aggregation and precipitation. The elevated n-TiO2 concentrations (0.5 and 1μg/mL) did not significantly influence Cr(VI) bio-availability, and a dose dependent toxicity of Cr(VI) was observed. On the other hand, n-Al2O3 did not have any significant effect on the Cr(VI) toxicity. The microscopic observations presented additional information on the morphological changes of the algal cells in the presence of the binary toxicants. The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) suggested contribution of oxidative stress on toxicity and LDH release confirmed membrane permeability of algal cells upon stress.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Adsorption; Algae; Binary toxicity; Cr(VI); Metal oxide nanoparticles

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