Assessment of the effect of nanomaterials on sediment-dwelling invertebrate Chironomus tentans larvae

P. J. Oberholster, N. Musee*, A. M. Botha, Paul Kiprono Chelule, W. W. Focke, P. J. Ashton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Studies were conducted to determine the effects of a panel of seven nanomaterials (NMs), namely: α-alumina, γ-alumina, precipitated silica; silica fume, calcined silica fume, colloidal antimony pentoxide (Sb2O5), and superfine amorphous ferric oxide (Fe2O3), on sediment dwelling invertebrates Chironomus tentans under controlled laboratory conditions. Percentage survival, enzyme activities, growth development, and DNA fragmentation parameters were studied as acute, biochemical, and physiological toxicities of NMs, respectively. Quantitation of catalase and peroxidase enzyme activity demonstrated that toxicant stress of the NMs increased enzyme activity in a concentration dependent fashion across all treatments. The percentage growth length of the test specimens exposed to different NMs was significantly reduced compared to the negative control while only five concentrations were not in the toxic range, namely; Fe2O3 (5γg/kg); silica fume (5γg/kg, 50γg/kg); Sb2O5 (5γg/kg) and calcined silica fume (5γg/kg). Genotoxic stress assessed by use of DNA laddering showed complementary findings to the other ecotoxicological endpoints tested in this study-the percentage survival and growth length inhibition. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-423
Number of pages8
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011


  • Bioassays
  • Chironomus tentans
  • DNA damage
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Nanomaterials


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