Behavior and chronic toxicity of two differently stabilized silver nanoparticles to Daphnia magna

Yvonne Sakka, Lars Michael Skjolding, Aiga Mackevica, Juliane Filser, Anders Baun

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While differences in silver nanoparticle (AgNP) colloidal stability, surface potential, or acute aquatic toxicity for differently stabilized AgNP have often been reported, these have rarely been studied in long-term ecotoxicity tests. In the current study, we investigated the chronic toxicity of AgNP to Daphnia magna over a 21-day period with two different stabilizers (citrate and detergent), representative for charge and sterical stabilizers, respectively. This was coupled with a series of short-term experiments, such as mass balance and uptake/depuration testing, to investigate the behavior of both types of AgNP during a typical media exchange period in the D. magna test for chronic toxicity. As expected, the sterically stabilized AgNP were more stable in the test medium, also in the presence of food; however, a higher uptake of silver after 24 h exposure of the charge stabilized AgNP was found compared to the detergent-stabilized AgNP (0.046 ± 0.006 μg Ag μg DW−1 and 0.023 ± 0.005 μg Ag μg DW−1, respectively). In accordance with this, the higher reproductive effects and mortality were found for the charge-stabilized than for the sterically-stabilized silver nanoparticles in 21-d tests for chronic toxicity. LOEC was 19.2 μg Ag L−1 for both endpoints for citrate-coated AgNP and >27.5 μg Ag L−1 (highest tested concentration for detergent-stabilized AgNP). This indicates a link between uptake and toxicity. The inclusion of additional short-term experiments on uptake and depuration is recommended when longer-term chronic experiments with nanoparticles are conducted.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Pages (from-to)526-535
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • silver nanoparticle
  • D. magna
  • Chronic toxicity
  • stabilizer effect
  • uptake

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