Current Pollution Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 128–142 | Cite as

Nanoecotoxicological Reports of Engineered Metal Oxide Nanoparticles on Algae

  • Pallavi Saxena
  • Harish
Water Pollution (Gurpal Toor and Long Nghiem, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Water Pollution


Use of nanotechnology-based products is growing at large scale globally; consequently, releasing nanoparticles are entering into aquatic ecosystems. The higher surface area versus volume ratio in comparison with bulk materials makes the nanoparticles biologically more reactive. Therefore, investigating the potential aquatic toxicity of nanoparticles has become an important issue. Algae are an ideal group to study responses of different engineered nanoparticles. Present review aims to analyse the nanoecotoxicological impact of engineered metal oxide nanoparticles on algal physiology. Impacts of nanoparticles of titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, copper oxide, silica oxides, cerium oxides, iron oxide, aluminium oxide and nickel oxide are covered in details. Different factors like size, shape, pH, dose, exposure time, photo-catalytic activity, etc. that affect the toxicity of nanoparticles to test organisms are discussed in this review. Further, a host of responses shown by algae like an increase in reactive oxygen species, lipid peroxidation and a decrease in chlorophyll content and photosynthetic efficiency are highlighted. Future scope of research is also discussed in brief.


Algae Aggregation Lipid peroxidation Nanoecotoxicology ROS Toxicity 



Aluminium oxide


Cation exchange capacity


Cerium dioxide


Cyanophycin grana proteins


Copper oxide


Effect concentration


Inhibitory concentration


International Organisation for Standardization


Lactate dehydrogenase




Nickel oxide


No observed adverse effect level


Natural organic matter




Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development


Polyamidoamine dendrimers


Predicted no effects concentrations


Reactive oxygen species


Silica oxide


Suwanee river fulvic acid


Suwannee river humic acid


Specific surface area


Titanium dioxide


Ultraviolet A/B


Zinc oxide



Contribution of Pallavi Saxena to this study was financially supported by the University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi, India, in the form of BSR meritorious fellowship [F.25-a/2013-14(BSR)/7-125/2007(BSR)]. Harish received financial support from UGC, New Delhi, India, in the form of Start-up Grant Project [F.20-11(21)/2012(BSR)].

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of BotanyMohanlal Sukhadia UniversityUdaipurIndia

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