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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2019, Article ID 7843025, 10 pages
Research Article

The Influence of Surface Coatings of Silver Nanoparticles on the Bioavailability and Toxicity to Elliptio complanata Mussels

1Environment and Climate Change Canada, 105 McGill, Montréal, Quebec, Canada H2Y 2E7
2Department of Chemistry, Montréal University, Montréal, QC, Canada H2V 2B8

Correspondence should be addressed to F. Gagné; ac.adanac@engag.siocnarf

Received 20 June 2019; Accepted 14 August 2019; Published 10 September 2019

Academic Editor: Laura Martinez Maestro

Copyright © 2019 J. Auclair et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nanomaterials could be modified with various coatings which could modulate their behavior in the environment, bioavailability and toxicity. The purpose of this study was to determine if the selected coatings of silver nanoparticles (nAg) could influence the fate, bioavailability, and toxicity toward suspension feeding freshwater mussels, Elliptio complanata. Mussels were exposed for 96 h to 50 μg/L of nAg with the following surface coatings: citrate, silicate (Si), polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), and branched polyethylenimine (bPEI). After the exposure period, mussels were analyzed for total Ag, resistance to air emersion, oxidative stress, genotoxicity, and autophagosome protein uptake (protein ubiquitinylation) in gills and digestive glands. The data revealed that citrate- and PVP-coated nAg were 2 times more abundant in the digestive gland compared to bPEI- and Si-coated nAg with estimated bioaccumulation factors between 5 and 10. The data revealed that tissue Ag levels were closely associated with air survival time, weight loss during air exposure, DNA strand breaks, LPO, and protein-ubiquitin levels in the digestive gland. The data supports the hypothesis that the coatings could influence bioavailability and toxicity in freshwater mussels.