Chronic toxicity of double-walled carbon nanotubes to three marine organisms: Influence of different dispersion methods

Wing Hin Kevin Patrick Kwok, Kenneth My Leung, Emmanuel Flahaut, Jinping Cheng, Shuk Han Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Double-walled carbon nanotubes (DWNTs) are found in a variety of consumer products, but there are no ecotoxicity data of DWNTs into marine organisms. Materials & methods: Chronic toxicity of DWNTs was investigated with the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana, copepod Tigriopus japonicus and medaka Oryzias melastigma. DWNTs were dispersed using sonication (so-DWNTs) and stirring (st-DWNTs) for comparison. Results: The median aggregation size (0.89 m2) of so-DWNTs was smaller than that of st-DWNTs (21.8 m2). Exposure to DWNTs led to growth inhibition of T. pseudonana with EC50s of 1.86 and 22.7 mg/l for so- and st-DWNTs, respectively. Population growth of T. japonicus was reduced to 0.1 mg/l for so-DWNTs and 10 mg/l for st-DWNTs. Growth inhibition in O. melastigma was observed at 10 mg/l for so-DWNTs but not for st-DWNTs. Conclusion: Given that so-DWNTs are consistently significantly more toxic than st-DWNTs, dispersion method and size of aggregations should be considered in DWNT toxicity testing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)951-961
Number of pages11
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • ecotoxicity
  • growth inhibition
  • marine environment
  • nanomaterials
  • population effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)

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