, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 938–948 | Cite as

Size-dependent ecotoxicity of barium titanate particles: the case of Chlorella vulgaris green algae

  • Hudson C. Polonini
  • Humberto M. Brandão
  • Nádia R. B. Raposo
  • Marcos Antônio F. Brandão
  • Ludovic Mouton
  • Alain Couté
  • Claude Yéprémian
  • Yann Sivry
  • Roberta Brayner


Studies have been demonstrating that smaller particles can lead to unexpected and diverse ecotoxicological effects when compared to those caused by the bulk material. In this study, the chemical composition, size and shape, state of dispersion, and surface’s charge, area and physicochemistry of micro (BT MP) and nano barium titanate (BT NP) were determined. Green algae Chlorella vulgaris grown in Bold’s Basal (BB) medium or Seine River water (SRW) was used as biological indicator to assess their aquatic toxicology. Responses such as growth inhibition, cell viability, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, adenosine-5-triphosphate (ATP) content and photosynthetic activity were evaluated. Tetragonal BT (~170 nm, 3.24 m2 g−1 surface area) and cubic BT (~60 nm, 16.60 m2 g−1) particles were negative, poorly dispersed, and readily aggregated. BT has a statistically significant effect on C. vulgaris growth since the lower concentration tested (1 ppm), what seems to be mediated by induced oxidative stress caused by the particles (increased SOD activity and decreased photosynthetic efficiency and intracellular ATP content). The toxic effects were more pronounced when the algae was grown in SRW. Size does not seem to be an issue influencing the toxicity in BT particles toxicity since micro- and nano-particles produced significant effects on algae growth.


Barium titanate Seine river water Ecotoxicology Characterization Nanotechnology 



H. Polonini thanks CAPES (04/CII-2008-Project 7, Network Brazil Nanobiotec) and Programa Ciência sem Fronteiras/CNPq (245781/2012-9) for the scholarships granted. All authors thank Institut Jacques Monod (Université Paris Diderot, Paris, France); FAPEMIG; prof. Dr. Marcone A. L. de Oliveira (experimental design); Sophie Nowak (XRD analysis); Jean-Yves Piquemal (BET analysis); and Philippe Decorse (XPS analysis).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10646_2015_1436_MOESM1_ESM.docx (955 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1221 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hudson C. Polonini
    • 1
  • Humberto M. Brandão
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nádia R. B. Raposo
    • 1
  • Marcos Antônio F. Brandão
    • 1
  • Ludovic Mouton
    • 4
  • Alain Couté
    • 5
  • Claude Yéprémian
    • 5
  • Yann Sivry
    • 6
  • Roberta Brayner
    • 4
  1. 1.Núcleo de Pesquisa e Inovação em Ciências da Saúde (NUPICS)Universidade Federal de Juiz de ForaJuiz de ForaBrazil
  2. 2.Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (Embrapa Gado de Leite)Juiz de ForaBrazil
  3. 3.CiPharma, Escola de FarmáciaUniversidade Federal de Ouro PretoOuro PretoBrazil
  4. 4.Interfaces, Traitements, Organisation et Dynamique des Systèmes (ITODYS)Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, UMR 7086, CNRSParisFrance
  5. 5.Muséum National d’Histoire NaturelleParisFrance
  6. 6.Institute de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP)Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris CitéParisFrance

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