Titanium-doped PET nanoplastics, from opaque milk bottle degradation, as a model of environmental true-to-life nanoplastics. Hazardous effects on Drosophila

Mohamed Alaraby, Aliro Villacorta, Doaa Abass, Alba Hernández, Ricard Marcos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Micro and nanoplastics (MNPLs) are emergent environmental pollutants, resulting from the degradation of plastic waste, requiring urgent information on their potential risks to human health. To determine such risks, reliable true-to-life materials are essential. In this work, we have used titanium-doped PET NPLs [PET(Ti)NPLs], obtained by grinding opaque milk polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, as a true-to-life MNPLs model. These opaque PET bottles, with an average size of 112 nm, contain about 3% Ti in the form of titanium dioxide rod nanoparticles. TEM investigation confirmed the mixed Ti/PET nature of the obtained true-to-life NPLs, and the rod shape of the embedded TiO2NPs. In the in vivo Drosophila model neither PET(Ti)NPLs nor TiO2NPs reduced the survival rates, although their internalization was confirmed in different compartments of the larval body by using confocal and transmission electron microscopies. The presence of Ti in the PET(Ti)NPLs permitted to quantify its presence both in larvae (2.1 ± 2.2 μg/g of Ti) and in the resulting adults (3.4 ± 3.2 μg/g of Ti) after treatment with 500 μg/g food of PET(Ti)NPL, suggesting its potential use to track their fate in more complex organisms such as mammals. PET(Ti)NPLs, as well as TiO2NPs, altered the expression of genes driving different response pathways, inducing significant oxidative stress levels (up to 10 folds), and genotoxicity. This last result on the genotoxic effects is remarkable in the frame of the hot topic discussion on the risk that titanium compounds, used as food additives, may pose to humans.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122968
Pages (from-to)122968
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume341
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Drosophila
  • Microplastics
  • Milk/chemistry
  • Polyethylene Terephthalates
  • Titanium/toxicity

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