The use of multiwell culture plates in the duckweed toxicity test:a case study on Zn nanoparticles
Extensive production of nanomaterials of various properties needs to be coupled with rapid toxicity testing in order to provide information about their potential risks to the environment and human health. Miniaturization of toxicity tests may accelerate economical testing of nanomaterials, but is not a common practice. We describe a case study to miniaturize a commonly used toxicity test with plant duckweed Lemna minor. 6-well, 12-well and 24-well culture plates were used to assess their potential use for the duckweed toxicity test with potassium chloride as reference material. The results were compared to the standard test design using 100 mL glass beakers. The comparison showed that the best agreement was with the 6-well vessels. This set-up was further used for toxicity testing of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NP) and zinc chloride. Zinc was not adsorbed onto either glass or plastic walls of the miniaturized system. We assume that in both vessels a fast agglomeration and settling of ZnO NP took place. Linear regression and statistical testing indicated a good correlation between the toxicity results obtained in the standard test and miniaturized 6-well vessels. The miniaturization of the test system for assessing the biological effect of nanomaterials on Lemna minor could become an appropriate alternative to the traditionally used high volume vessels.