Detail investigation of toxicity, bioaccumulation, and translocation of Cd-based quantum dots and Cd salt in white mustard
In this study, a model crop plant white mustard (Sinapis alba L.) was treated with an aqueous dispersion of silica-coated CdTe quantum dots (CdTe/SiO2 QDs) in a 72-h short-term toxicity test. The toxicity was established via measurements of (i) the root length and (ii) the chlorophyll fluorescence. These results were compared to two other sources of cadmium, free Cd ions (CdCl2) and prime un-shell nanoparticles CdTe QDs. Tested compounds were applied in concentrations representing 20 and 200 μM Cd. The uptake and translocation of Cd were investigated using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) and the spatial Cd distribution was investigated in detail applying laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). The LIBS maps with a lateral resolution of 100 μm were constructed for the whole plants, and maps with a lateral resolution of 25 μm (micro-LIBS arrangement) were used to analyse only the most interesting parts of plants with Cd presence (e.g. root tips or a part crossing the root into the above-ground part). Our results show that the bioaccumulation patterns and spatial distribution of Cd in CdTe/SiO2 QDs-treated plants differ from the plants of positive control and CdTe QDs. Fluorescence microscopy photographs revealed that CdTe/SiO2 became adsorbed onto the plant surface in comparison to CdTe QDs. Further, a physico-chemical characterization of QDs before and after the test exposure showed only minor changes in the nanoparticle diameters and no tendencies of QDs for agglomeration or aggregation during the exposure.
Fluorescence, Nanostructures, Materials