Toxicity and applications of internalised magnetite nanoparticles within live Paramecium caudatum cells

Mayne, R., Whiting, J. and Adamatzky, A. (2017) Toxicity and applications of internalised magnetite nanoparticles within live Paramecium caudatum cells. BioNanoScience, 8 (1). pp. 90-94. ISSN 2191-1630 Available from:

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The nanotechnology revolution has allowed us to speculate on the possibility of hybridising nanoscale materials with live substrates, yet significant doubt still remains pertaining to the effects of nanomaterials on bio- logical matter. In this investigation, we cultivate the cilliated protistic pond-dwelling microorganism Paramecium caudatum in the presence of excessive quantities of mag- netite nanoparticles in order to deduce potential beneficial applications for this technique, as well as observe any deleterious effects on the organisms’ health. Our findings indicate that this variety of nanoparticle is well-tolerated by P. caudatum cells, who were observed to consume them in quantities exceeding 5–12% of their body volume: cultivation in the presence of magnetite nanoparticles does not alter P. caudatum cell volume, swimming speed, growth rate or peak colony density and cultures may per- sist in nanoparticle-contaminated media for many weeks. We demonstrate that P. caudatum cells ingest starch-coated magnetite nanoparticles which facilitates their being mag- netically immobilised whilst maintaining apparently normal ciliary dynamics, thus demonstrating that nanoparticle bio-hybridisation is a viable alternative to conventional forms of ciliate quieting. Ingested magnetite nanoparticle deposits appear to aggregate, suggesting that (a) the process of being internalised concentrates and may therefore detoxify (i.e. render less reactive) nanomaterial suspensions in aquatic environments, and (b) P. caudatum is a candidate organism for programmable nanomaterial manipulation and delivery.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:nanotoxicology, SPION, quieting, paramecia, biohybridisation
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies
ID Code:32206
Deposited By: Dr R. Mayne
Deposited On:26 Jun 2017 08:40
Last Modified:09 Apr 2018 15:28

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