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Insights into polythiol-assisted AgNP dissolution induced by bio-relevant molecules

Abstract

The widespread use of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) as biocide in consumer products raises concerns about their toxicity to human and their environmental impact. The biocidal activity is mediated by the release of Ag(I). However, this metal ion is universally toxic for living organisms. For instance, Ag(I) tightly binds to thiol functions that are plethora and essential in any cell. The first intracellular source of thiol, glutathione, is crucial for the control of the redox balance of the cell. Dissolution studies using monothiol-containing biomolecules such as glutathione or cysteine provided controversial results, while the impact of polythiol molecules on AgNP behavior remains unexplored. In order to gain insights into polythiol-assisted AgNP dissolution at constant and equal thiol : Ag molarity, we studied the impact of glutathione, phytochelatins with 2, 3 or 6 thiols, and of the copper chaperone Atx1 and its metal binding site mimic P2, both containing 2 pre-oriented thiols to chelate Cu(I). AgNP behavior was followed by various complementary physicochemical approaches. We demonstrated unambiguously that, in aerobic conditions, these molecules favor AgNP dissolution into Ag(I) ions with a rate that increases with the number of thiols per molecule as well as with their pre-orientation. We also observed that AgNP dissolution into Ag(I) soluble species occurs progressively for the whole AgNP population. This work highlights how AgNP transformations are triggered by biomolecules, and lays the basis for a deeper understanding of their fate in biological/environmental systems.

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Mar 2018, accepted on 06 Jun 2018 and first published on 08 Jun 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8EN00340H
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Insights into polythiol-assisted AgNP dissolution induced by bio-relevant molecules

    M. Marchioni, T. Gallon, I. Worms, P. Jouneau, C. Lebrun, G. Veronesi, D. Truffier-Boutry, E. Mintz, P. Delangle, A. Deniaud and I. Michaud-Soret, Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8EN00340H

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