The in vivo effects of silver nanoparticles on terrestrial isopods, Porcellio scaber, depend on a dynamic interplay between shape, size and nanoparticle dissolution properties

Novak S, Romih T, Drašler B, Birarda G, Vaccari L, Ferraris P, Sorieul S, Zieba M, Sebastian V, Arruebo M, Hočevar S.B., Jemec Kokalj A, Drobne D
Analyst, 2018

The present work aims to study the effects that acute exposure to low concentrations of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) cause in digestive glands of terrestrial isopods (Porcellio scaber). The experiments were designed to integrate different analytical techniques, such as transmission electron microscopy, atomic absorption spectroscopy, proton induced X-ray emission, and Fourier transform IR imaging (FTIRI), in order to gain a comprehensive insight into the process from the AgNPs’ synthesis to their interaction with biological tissues in vivo. To this aim, terrestrial isopods were fed with AgNPs having different shapes, sizes, and concentrations. For all the tested conditions, no toxicity at the whole organism level was observed after 14 days of exposure. However, FTIRI showed that AgNPs caused detectable local changes in proteins, lipids, nucleic acids and carbohydrates at the tissue level, to an extent dependent on the interplay of the AgNPs’ properties: shape, size, concentration and dissolution of ions from them.