Characterization of Nanoparticles and Their Effects on Eukaryotic Cells and Higher Plants
a Institute of Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Analytical Department, b Department of Environmental Ecology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University Bratislava
Keywords: nanoparticles, toxicity, phytotoxicity, oxidative stress
The recent boom in nanotechnology has brought up an increased interest in the toxicity of nanostructured materials. In the center of attention, however, there are the effects on animals or humans. From the global and environmental point of view, effects nanoparticles on plants which are at the beginning of the food chains have to be studied as well. The present review surveys the observations that have already been done in this field. After a brief review of the classification and basic properties of nanoparticles, we discussed transportation process of nanoparticles into the eukaryotic cell via endocytosis, as well as the basic principles of nanotoxicity, its mechanisms and the factors affecting it. The part devoted to the nanoparticle phytotoxicity deals with both positive and negative effects of nanoparticles on morphological changes in plants and the reduction of seed germination. The final chapter is focused on oxidative stress caused by the presence of nanoparticles and on the defense mechanisms of plants.
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