Influences of TiO2 nanoparticles on dietary metal uptake in Daphnia magna

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-318
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Pollution
Issue numberPart 1
Online published12 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


Increasing applications of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (nano-TiO2) have intensified the risk of environmental contamination. Since nano-TiO2 can absorb metals and be consumed as ‘food’ by zooplankton but also can interact with phytoplankton, they could significantly disturb the existing metal assimilation patterns. In the present study, we quantified the dietary assimilation of Cd and Zn from nano-TiO2 and algae (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii) at comparable particle concentrations as well as in complex food environment (variable food quality and quantity) in a freshwater zooplankton Daphnia magna using the radiotracer technique. For both nano-TiO2 and algae as food, the feeding food quality and depuration food quantity significantly affected the assimilation efficiencies (AEs) of Cd and Zn. At feeding food quantity of 1 mg/L to 10 mg/L without food in depuration, the AEs of Cd and Zn from nano-TiO2 were lower than those from algae. When food was added during depuration, the influences of nano-TiO2 on metal AEs were variable due to the differential effects of food quantity on the gut passage of nano-TiO2 and algae. Furthermore, mixed nano-TiO2 and algae had the lowest metal AEs compared to sole nano-TiO2 or algae as a result of interaction between nano-TiO2 and algae during feeding. Overall, this study showed the distinguishing metal AEs between nano-TiO2 and algae, and that nano-TiO2 could significantly reduce the existing metal AEs from algae. More attention should be paid to the potential roles of nano-TiO2 in disturbing metal assimilation in the environmental risk assessments of nanoparticles. Metal assimilation in daphnids differed between nano-TiO2 and algae and nano-TiO2 could significantly reduce the existing metal assimilation from algae.  © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Research Area(s)

  • Daphnia, Food quality, Food quantity, Metal assimilation, Nano-TiO2