Ecotoxicology and environmental safety

Evaluation of the effects of polymeric chitosan/tripolyphosphate and solid lipid nanoparticles on germination of Zea mays, Brassica rapa and Pisum sativum.

PMID 28437729


Although the potential toxicity of many metallic and carbon nanoparticles to plants has been reported, few studies have evaluated the phytotoxic effects of polymeric and solid lipid nanoparticles. The present work described the preparation and characterization of chitosan/tripolyphosphate (CS/TPP) nanoparticles and solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) and evaluated the effects of different concentrations of these nanoparticles on germination of Zea mays, Brassica rapa, and Pisum sativum. CS/TPP nanoparticles presented an average size of 233.6±12.1nm, polydispersity index (PDI) of 0.30±0.02, and zeta potential of +21.4±1.7mV. SLN showed an average size of 323.25±41.4nm, PDI of 0.23±0.103, and zeta potential of -13.25±3.2mV. Nanotracking analysis enabled determination of concentrations of 1.33×10(10) (CS/TPP) and 3.64×10(12) (SLN) nanoparticles per mL. At high concentrations, CS/TPP nanoparticles caused complete inhibition of germination, and thus negatively affected the initial growth of all tested species. Differently, SLN presented no phytotoxic effects. The different size and composition and the opposite charges of SLN and CS/TPP nanoparticles could be associated with the differential phytotoxicity of these nanomaterials. The present study reports the phytotoxic potential of polymeric CS/TPP nanoparticles towards plants, indicating that further investigation is needed on the effects of such formulations intended for future use in agricultural systems, in order to avoid damage to the environment.