Graphene-Based Nanomaterials Toxicity in Fish

  • Asok K. Dasmahapatra
  • Thabitha P. S. Dasari
  • Paul B. TchounwouEmail author
Part of the Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology book series (RECT, volume 247)


Due to their unique physicochemical properties, graphene-based nanoparticles (GPNs) constitute one of the most promising types of nanomaterials used in biomedical research. GPNs have been used as polymeric conduits for nerve regeneration and carriers for targeted drug delivery and in the treatment of cancer via photothermal therapy. Moreover, they have been used as tracers to study the distribution of bioactive compounds used in healthcare. Due to their extensive use, GPN released into the environment would probably pose a threat to living organisms and ultimately to human health. Their accumulation in the aquatic environment creates problems to aquatic habitats as well as to food chains. Until now the potential toxic effects of GPN are not properly understood. Despite agglomeration and long persistence in the environment, GPNs are able to cross the cellular barriers successfully, entered into the cells, and are able to interact with almost all the cellular sites including the plasma membrane, cytoplasmic organelles, and nucleus. Their interaction with DNA creates more potential threats to both the genome and epigenome. In this brief review, we focused on fish, mainly zebrafish (Danio rerio), as a potential target animal of GPN toxicity in the aquatic ecosystem.


Agglomeration Apoptosis Aquatic environment Bioaccumulation Biomedical research Common carp Epigenome Few-layer graphene Genome Graphene nanosheets Graphene oxide Graphene quantum dots Graphene ribbons Graphene-based nanoparticles Japanese medaka fish Neurodegenerative disorders Oxidative stress Parkinson’s disease Reduced graphene oxide Reduced graphene quantum dots Single-layer graphene Sleeping disorder Toxicity Zebrafish Zebrafish embryos Zebrafish larvae 





Aromatic hydrocarbon receptor


Acid phosphatase


Base excision repair


Base-washed graphene oxide




L-cysteine GO hybrids


Deoxyribonucleic acid


Days postfertilization


Embryo-rearing medium


Few-layer graphene


Graphene oxide


Graphene oxide nanosheets coated with biological secretion


Graphene oxide-fluorescein isothiocyanate


Graphene oxide nanosheets




Graphene-based nanomaterials


Graphene quantum dots


Glutathione s-transferase


Humic acid


High choriolytic enzyme


Heme oxygenase


Hours postfertilization


Inducible nitric oxide synthase


Intersomitic vessels


Low choriolytic enzyme


Laser scanning confocal microscope




Multifunctional graphene


Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency


Nanographene oxide


Natural organic matter




Oxidized graphene nanoribbons




Quantum dots


Reduced graphene oxide


Reduced graphene quantum dots


RNA sequencing


Reactive nitrogen species


Reactive oxygen species


Superoxide dismutase


Transmission electron microscope


United Kingdom


United States Food and Drug Administration


Vascular endothelial growth factor



This research was financially supported by National Institutes of Health NIMHD Grant No. G12MD007581, through the RCMI Center for Environmental Health, and by National Science Foundation #HRD-1547754 through the CREST Center for Nanotoxicity Studies at Jackson State University.

Supplementary material

462643_1_En_15_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (134 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1 ■ (PPTX 134 kb)
462643_1_En_15_MOESM2_ESM.docx (25 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 ■ (DOCX 25 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asok K. Dasmahapatra
    • 1
  • Thabitha P. S. Dasari
    • 1
  • Paul B. Tchounwou
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Research Centers in Minority Institutions, Center for Environmental HealthJackson State UniversityJacksonUSA

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