The release of polylactic acid nanoplastics (PLA-NPLs) from commercial teabags: Obtention, characterization, and hazard effects of true-to-life PLA-NPLs

Gooya Banaei, Alba García-Rodríguez, Alireza Tavakolpournegari, Juan Martín-Pérez, Aliro Villacorta, Ricard Marcos*, Alba Hernández

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This study investigates MNPLs release from commercially available teabags and their effects on both undifferentiated monocultures of Caco-2 and HT29 and in the in vitro model of the intestinal Caco-2/HT29 barrier. Teabags were subjected to mechanical and thermodynamic forces simulating the preparation of a cup of tea. The obtained dispersions were characterized using TEM, SEM, DLS, LDV, NTA, and FTIR. Results confirmed that particles were in the nano-range, constituted by polylactic acid (PLA-NPLs), and about one million of PLA-NPLs per teabag were quantified. PLA-NPLs internalization, cytotoxicity, intracellular reactive oxygen species induction, as well as structural and functional changes in the barrier were assessed. Results show that PLA-NPLs present high uptake rates, especially in mucus-secretor cells, and bio-persisted in the tissue after 72 h of exposure. Although no significant cytotoxicity was observed after the exposure to 100 µg/mL PLA-NPLs during 48 h, a slight barrier disruption could be detected at short-time periods. The present work reveals new insights into the safety of polymer-based teabags, the behavior of true-to-life MNPLs in the human body, as well as new questions on how repeated and prolonged exposures could affect the structure and function of the human intestinal epithelium.

Original languageEnglish
Article number131899
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Volume458
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2023

Keywords

  • Food contaminants
  • Gastrointestinal tract
  • Nanoplastics
  • Polylactic acid
  • Teabags

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