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Environmental Nanotechnology, Monitoring & Management
Volume 16, 2021, 100485

A critical assessment on biochemical and molecular mechanisms of toxicity developed by emerging nanomaterials on important microbes

Ayantika Pala,b, Ritobrata Goswamic, Dijendra Nath Royd

Department of Zoology, MBB College, Tripura, India.


The increased utilization of different nanomaterials towards various novel applications has a major concern on the environmental perspectives about the potential toxicity of nanoparticles released into the environment, especially on living microorganisms such as, bacteria, fungus, and virus. The physical and chemical properties of nanoparticles as well as their actions in the different conditions may involve further process of dissolution, aggregation and agglomeration. Various studies indicate a wide divergence of results on toxicity mechanisms; however the statistics about their toxicity on, bacteria, fungus, and virus are limited and scattered. These toxic mechanisms mainly involve microorganism’s cell membrane rupture, inhibition of protein and RNA synthesis, and in some cases, pathogenic nature is also inhibited inside host cell due to nanoparticle exposure. This critical review based on several studies has suggested that a particular nanoparticle is not always helpful in every aspect as it can penetrate inside the cell easily to alter cellular homeostasis. This review has focused on the fate and toxicity of silver, gold, silica, zinc, copper, and titanium nanoparticles on key microorganisms of environment. We believe that this article will provide a deeper insight of toxicity mechanism of nanoparticles compared to available reports till date.

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