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Concentration-dependent effects of carbon nanoparticles in gram-negative bacteria determined by infrared spectroscopy with multivariate analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date04/2012
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Number of pages9
Original languageEnglish


With increasing production of carbon nanoparticles (CNPs), environmental release of these entities becomes an ever-greater inevitability. However, many questions remain regarding their impact on soil microorganisms. This study examined the effects of long or short multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), C60 fullerene and fullerene soot in Gram-negative bacteria. Attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy was applied to derive signature spectral fingerprints of effects. A concentration-dependent response in spectral alterations was observed for each nanoparticle type. Long or short MWCNTs and fullerene soot gave rise to similar alterations to lipids, Amide II and DNA. The extent of alteration varies with nanoparticle size, with smaller short MWCNTs resulting in greater toxicity than long MWCNTs. Fullerene soot was the least toxic. C60 results in the most distinct and largest overall alterations, notably in extensive protein alteration. This work demonstrates a novel approach for assaying and discriminating the effects of CNPs in target systems. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.