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Role of Residual Monomers in the Manifestation of (Cyto)toxicity by Polystyrene Microplastic Model Particles

Title data

Zhang, Yuanhu ; Paul, Tasmai ; Brehm, Julian ; Völkl, Matthias ; Jérôme, Valérie ; Freitag, Ruth ; Laforsch, Christian ; Greiner, Andreas:
Role of Residual Monomers in the Manifestation of (Cyto)toxicity by Polystyrene Microplastic Model Particles.
In: Environmental Science & Technology. (2023) . - pp. 1-9.
ISSN 0013-936X

Project information

Project title:
Project's official title
Project's id
SFB 1357 Mikroplastik
No information

Project financing: China Scholarship Council

Abstract in another language

Polystyrene (PS) is an important model polymer for the investigation of effects of microplastic (MP) and nanoplastic (NP) particles on living systems. Aqueous dispersions of PS MP or NP contain residual monomers of styrene. In consequence, it is not clear if the effects observed in standard (cyto)toxicity studies are evoked by the polymer (MP/NP) particle or by residual monomers. We addressed that question by comparing standard PS model particle dispersions with in-house synthesized PS particle dispersions. We proposed a rapid purification method of PS particle dispersions by dialysis against mixed solvents and developed a simple method of UV–vis spectrometry to detect residual styrene in the dispersions. We found that standard PS model particle dispersions, which contain residual monomers, exerted a low but significant cytotoxicity on mammalian cells, while the in-house synthesized PS, after rigorous purification to reduce the styrene content, did not. However, the PS particles per se but not the residual styrene in both PS particle dispersions resulted in immobilization of Daphnia. Only by using freshly monomer-depleted particles, will it be possible in the future to assess the (cyto)toxicities of PS particles, avoiding an otherwise not controllable bias effect of the monomer.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: microplastics; polystyrene model particles; residual monomer styrene; simple detection method; rapid purification; cytotoxicity; immobilization test; biased conclusions
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology I > Chair Animal Ecology I - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christian Laforsch
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Chemistry > Chair Macromolecular Chemistry II > Chair Macromolecular Chemistry II - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Andreas Greiner
Faculties > Faculty of Engineering Science > Chair Process Biotechnology > Chair Process Biotechnology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ruth Freitag
Research Institutions > Central research institutes > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Research Institutions > Affiliated Institutes > Bavarian Polymer Institute (BPI)
Research Institutions > Collaborative Research Centers, Research Unit > SFB 1357 - MIKROPLASTIK
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 500 Natural sciences
500 Science > 570 Life sciences, biology
600 Technology, medicine, applied sciences
600 Technology, medicine, applied sciences > 600 Technology
600 Technology, medicine, applied sciences > 620 Engineering
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2023 07:37
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2023 10:16