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Ecotoxicological Assessment of Ti3C2Tx (MXene) Using Zebrafish Embryo Model


The recent application of 2D MXene nanomaterials as adsorbents and membranes for water treatment as well as biomedical applications is attracting a growing interest. However, the environmental impact of Ti3C2Tx (MXene), especially their potential risks on aquatic biota and ecosystems of aquatic environment has never been explored. Herein, we have studied the biocompatibility of Ti3C2Tx by analyzing their potential toxicity in vivo using the zebrafish embryo model. Ti3C2Tx morphology, surface charge, and stability were characterized by SEM, TEM, x-ray diffraction spectroscopy. The aggregation pattern of Ti3C2Tx suspension in seawater was investigated. The ICP-MS results showed that the zebrafish embryos can uptake Ti3C2Tx in dose dependent manner. Acute toxicity of the attached/internalized Ti3C2Tx was tested at concentrations of 25, 50, 100 and 200 µg/mL. According to the 96-hours sigmoidal mortality curve, the LC50 of Ti3C2TX was calculated to be at 257.46 μg/mL and the highest NOEC (< 20% mortality) was at 50 µg/mL. The LOEC (≥20% mortality) of Ti3C2Tx was detected at 100 µg/mL, as this concentration showed slight increase in mortality (21%). However, no significant teratogenic effects were observed on zebrafish embryos at 100 µg/mL. This nontoxicity was confirmed by the locomotion and the neurotoxicity assays, as 50 µg/mL of Ti3C2TX showed no harmful effect on the neuromuscular activities. In conclusion, because the LC50 of Ti3C2Tx was greater than 100 µg/mL, it can be classified within the “practically nontoxic” group according to the Acute Toxicity Rating Scale by Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), thus we suggest the safe uses and discharge of Ti3C2Tx MXene in the aquatic ecosystem at concentrations below 100 µg/mL.

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Dec 2017, accepted on 20 Feb 2018 and first published on 28 Feb 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7EN01239J
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Ecotoxicological Assessment of Ti3C2Tx (MXene) Using Zebrafish Embryo Model

    G. Nasrallah, M. Al-Asmakh, K. Rasool and K. A. Mahmoud, Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7EN01239J

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