Micro-PIXE study of Ag in digestive glands of a nano-Ag fed arthropod

Pipan-Tkalec Ž, Drobne D, Vogel-Mikuš K, Pongrac P, Regvar M, Štrus J, Pelicon P, Vavpetič P, Grlj N, Remškar M
[ pdf ] [ site ] Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 2011

Micro-proton induced X-ray emission (micro-PIXE) method was applied to study the micro-localization of silver (Ag) in digestive glands of a terrestrial arthropod (Porcellio scaber) after feeding on silver nanoparticles (nano-Ag) dosed food. The aim of our work was to assess whether feeding on nano-Ag results in the assimilation of silver (Ag) in digestive gland cells. To study micro-localization and elemental distribution of Ag, the animals were fed on food dosed with nanoparticles for 14 days under controlled laboratory conditions. At the end of the feeding exposure, the animals were dissected and digestive glands prepared for micro-PIXE analyses and TEM investigation. The results obtained by micro-PIXE documented high amounts of Ag inside S-cells of the digestive gland epithelium; however, TEM investigation did not show particle aggregates inside digestive gland cells. Also no adverse effect on feeding behavior was recorded what is a measure of toxic effects. We explain the presence of Ag inside the cells as a result of the assimilation of dissoluted Ag ions from ingested nano-Ag particles. Assimilation of excessive amounts of ingested metal ions in S-cells is a well known metal detoxification mechanism in isopods. We discuss the advantages of using micro-PIXE for the micro-localization of elements in biological tissue in studies of interactions between nanoparticles and biological systems.