Nano-bio Interactions and Ecotoxicity in Aquatic Environment: Plenty of Room at the Bottom but Tyranny at the Top!

  • Jayanta Kumar BiswasEmail author
  • Mahendra Rai
  • Avinash P. Ingle
  • Monojit Mondal
  • Soumyajit Biswas


Nanotechnology has evolved as an outstanding versatile technology expected to become ubiquitous and to revolutionize the functionality of products in various sectors. The hallmarks of nanomaterials are higher surface area to volume ratio and greater interfacial nature that pave way to their unique fascinating features and functionalities. The environmental fate and behaviour of nanoparticles entail bioavailability, uptake, internalization, and toxicity, which are conditioned by and interactions of the chemistry of both the nanomaterial and the ambient aquatic environment, and the biology of the organisms. Oxidative stress is a predictive paradigm for ambient nanomaterials’ toxicity. Nanoparticles can cross trophic boundaries via bioconcentration and biomagnifications through food chain. Majority of the nanotoxicological studies undertaken so far are descriptive or ‘‘proof-of-principle’’ experiments, which have tried to document toxic effects on individual organisms, bearing hardly any concrete ecological implications. To bridge the knowledge gap an urgent need is to undertake comprehensive studies for unveiling interactions and effects of NPs on different species belonging to different trophic levels of the aquatic ecosystem, and their toxicological responses from genetic to systemic levels. The life cycle assessment and ecological risk assessment of engineered nanomaterials are imperatives for the establishment and implementation of effective and protective regulatory policy. This chapter provides an illustrated account of promises and pitfalls of nanomaterials on an ecotoxicological canvas, with a focus on their toxic effects on life at hierarchical levels of both biological and ecological organization.


Nanomaterials Nanoparticles Nanopollution Nano-bio-eco interactions Ecotoxicity Oxidative stress Ecological risk 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jayanta Kumar Biswas
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mahendra Rai
    • 3
  • Avinash P. Ingle
    • 3
  • Monojit Mondal
    • 1
  • Soumyajit Biswas
    • 4
  1. 1.Enviromicrobiology, Ecotoxicology and Ecotechnology Research Unit, Department of Ecological StudiesUniversity of KalyaniKalyani, NadiaIndia
  2. 2.International Centre for Ecological Engineering, University of KalyaniKalyaniIndia
  3. 3.Nanobiotechnology Laboratory, Department of BiotechnologySGB Amravati UniversityAmravatiIndia
  4. 4.Department of Biochemistry & BiophysicsUniversity of KalyaniKalyani, NadiaIndia

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