Uptake and depuration of gold nanoparticles in Daphnia magna

Lars Michael Skjolding, Kristina Kern, Rune Hjorth, Nanna Isabella Bloch Hartmann, S. Overgaard, G. Ma, J. G. C. Veinot, Anders Baun

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This study presents a series of short-term studies (total duration 48 h) of uptake and depuration of engineered nanoparticles (ENP) in neonate Daphnia magna. Gold nanoparticles (Au NP) were used to study the influence of size, stabilizing agent and feeding on uptake and depuration kinetics and animal body burdens. 10 and 30 nm Au NP with different stabilizing agents [citrate (CIT) and mercaptoundecanoic acid (MUDA)] were tested in concentrations around 0.5 mg Au/L. Fast initial uptake was observed for all studied Au NP, with CIT stabilized Au NP showing similar rates independent of size and MUDA showing increased uptake for the smaller Au NP (MUDA 10 nm > CIT 10 nm, 30 nm > MUDA 30 nm). However, upon transfer to clean media no clear trend on depuration rates was found in terms of stabilizing agent or size. Independent of stabilizing agent, 10 nm Au NP resulted in higher residual whole-animal body burdens after 24 h depuration than 30 nm Au NP with residual body burdens about one order of magnitude higher of animals exposed to 10 nm Au NP. The presence of food (P. subcapitata) did not significantly affect the body burden after 24 h of exposure, but depuration was increased. While food addition is not necessary to ensure D. magna survival in the presented short-term test design, the influence of food on uptake and depuration kinetics is essential to consider in long term studies of ENP where food addition is necessary. This study demonstrates the feasibility of a short-term test design to assess the uptake and depuration of ENP in D. magna. The findings underlines that the assumptions behind the traditional way of quantifying bioconcentration are not fulfilled when ENPs are studied.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1172-1183
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Kinetics
  • Feeding
  • Size
  • Test design
  • Au

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