Radiolabeling of amide functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes for bioaccumulation study in fish bone using whole-body autoradiography

  • Youssouf Djibril SoubanehEmail author
  • Emilien Pelletier
  • Isabelle Desbiens
  • Claude Rouleau
Multi-Stressors in Freshwater and Transitional Environments: from Legacy Pollutants to Emerging Ones


Commercial and medicinal applications of functionalized carbon nanotubes (f-CNTs) such as amidated f-CNTs are expanding rapidly with a potential risk exposure to living organisms. The effects of amidated f-CNTs on aquatic species have received a limited attention. In this work, an easy wet method to prepare [14C]-label amide multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) is reported. Labeled carbon nanotubes were prepared by successive reactions of carboxylation, chloroacylation, and final amidation using [14C]-labeled ethanolamine. The f-CNTs were characterized using elemental analysis, electron dispersive X-ray, transmission electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and Raman and FTIR spectroscopy. An uptake experiment was carried out with juvenile Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) using water dispersed amidated [14C]-f-CNTs to assess their biodistribution in fish tissues using whole body autoradiography. The radioactivity pattern observed in fish head suggests that f-CNTs were accumulated in head bone canals, possibly involving an interaction with mineral or organic phases of bones such as calcium and collagen. This f-CNTs distribution illustrates how important is to consider the surface charges of functionalized carbon nanotubes in ecotoxicological studies.


Carbon nanotubes Amide functionalization Radiolabeling method Fish Canal bones 


Funding information

This research work was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and supported by the Canada Research Chair in Molecular Ecotoxicology (E.P).

Compliance with ethical standards

This research involved experiments on animals, Arctic char, due to the potential impact of f-CNTs on organisms in aquatic environment. This study was performed in strict accordance with Ethical Policy for Animal Experimentation (Publication No. C2-D34, Rev. 2012) approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of the Université du Québec à Rimouski. This ethical policy is an application of the Canadian Council on Animal Care. Post-experimental cares of animals were provided including minimizing discomfort and the consequences of any disability resulting from the experiment.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest (financial or non-financial).


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Youssouf Djibril Soubaneh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Emilien Pelletier
    • 2
  • Isabelle Desbiens
    • 2
  • Claude Rouleau
    • 2
  1. 1.Département de biologie, chimie et géographieUniversité du Québec à RimouskiQCCanada
  2. 2.Institut des sciences de la mer de RimouskiUniversité du Québec à RimouskiQCCanada

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