Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 9, pp 8444–8458 | Cite as

Removal of antibiotics from aqueous solutions by nanoparticles: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Mohammad Malakootian
  • Mehdi Yaseri
  • Maryam FarajiEmail author
Review Article


Antibiotics, as one of the emerging pollutants, are non-biodegradable compounds and long-term exposure to them may affect endocrine, hormonal, and genetic systems of human beings, representing a potential risk for both the environment and human health. The presence of antibiotics in surface waters and drinking water causes a global health concern. Many researches have stated that conventional methods used for wastewater treatment cannot fully remove antibiotic residues, and they may be detected in receiving waters. It is reported that nanoparticles could remove these compounds even at low concentration and under varied conditions of pH. The current study aimed to review the most relevant publications reporting the use of different nanoparticles to remove antibiotics from aqueous solutions. Moreover, meta-analysis was conducted on the results of some articles. Results of meta-analysis proved that different nanoparticles could remove antibiotics with an acceptable efficiency of 61%. Finally, this review revealed that nanoparticles are promising and efficient materials for degradation and removal of antibiotics from water and wastewater solutions. Furthermore, future perspectives of the new generation nanostructure adsorbents were discussed in this study.


Drug Emerging pollutants Water and wastewater treatment Nanotechnology Adsorption Green synthesis 



The authors would like to thank the Environmental Health Engineering Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, for their scientific supports.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Malakootian
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mehdi Yaseri
    • 3
  • Maryam Faraji
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Environmental Health Engineering Research CenterKerman University of Medical SciencesKermanIran
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Health, School of Public HealthKerman University of Medical SciencesKermanIran
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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