Exposure media a critical factor for controlling dissolution of CuO nanoparticles

  • Swaroop Chakraborty
  • Ashwathi Nair
  • Manas Paliwal
  • Agnieszka Dybowska
  • Superb K. MisraEmail author
Research Paper


Dissolution is an important property that influences nanoparticle abundance and biological responses, and often becomes a critical factor in determining the safety of nanoparticles. In our study, the dissolution behavior of commercial (c-CuO) and synthesized CuO (s-CuO) nanoparticles, of size 31 ± 4 nm and 7 ± 1 nm, respectively, in a range of simulated aqueous media (artificial sea water, artificial lysosomal fluid, simulated body fluid, and 1 mM NaNO3) was assessed. The study demonstrated significant differences in the dissolution behavior of the nanoparticles based on the exposure concentration and exposure media. In biological media, both c-CuO and s-CuO demonstrated more than 80% dissolution within 12 to 24 h as compared to less than 15% dissolution in environmental media over the 7-day period. Due to the inherent size difference between c-CuO and s-CuO nanoparticles, the rate of dissolution was found to be higher in the case of s-CuO nanoparticles. To validate the role of dissolution, the microbial response of CuO nanoparticles and its ionic species was evaluated on E. coli. This study highlights the interplay between particulate and ionic form and experimentally validates how the suspension media acts as a critical factor governing the solubility of nanoparticles.

Graphical abstract


Dissolution CuO nanoparticles Nanoparticle solubility Simulated media Transformation Environmental fate Antimicrobial effect Environmental safety 



We acknowledge the support of Prof. Eva Valsami-Jones in providing the commercial CuO nanoparticles. We thank Prof. Abhijit Mishra for providing the E. coli strain tested in this study.

Funding information

This project (EMR/2015/000298) was financially supported by the Department of Science and Technology (SERB), Government of India and through MHRD and GOG funded IMPRINT initiative.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11051_2018_4428_MOESM1_ESM.docx (787 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 787 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Swaroop Chakraborty
    • 1
  • Ashwathi Nair
    • 2
  • Manas Paliwal
    • 3
  • Agnieszka Dybowska
    • 4
  • Superb K. Misra
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Biological EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology GandhinagarGandhinagarIndia
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  3. 3.Materials Science and EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology GandhinagarGandhinagarIndia
  4. 4.Department of Earth SciencesNatural History MuseumLondonUK

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