Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 30, pp 24038–24045 | Cite as

Effect of nanoscale zero-valent iron confined in mesostructure on Escherichia coli

Short Research and Discussion Article


Nanoscale zero-valent iron particles (NZVIs) confined in the mesochannels of SBA-15 have superabilities in the remediation of contaminated groundwater. As a new kind of remediation nanomaterials, it is necessary to investigate the ecotoxicity of NZVIs/SBA-15 composites during their applications. In this study, we evaluated the toxicity of NZVIs/SBA-15 on Escherichia coli and proposed a possible mechanism. Compared with the bare NZVIs and SBA-15 surface-supported NZVIs at the same equivalent concentration of NZVIs (0.42 or 0.84 g/L), NZVIs/SBA-15 composites had a minimal cytotoxicity on E. coli, though they had the smallest iron nanoparticle size, the largest zeta potential, and the best stability in water. The mechanism may be attributed to the protection of the mesochannels and the electrostatic hindrance resulting from the silica host that could keep NZVIs from directly contacting with the cell. Thus, NZVIs confined in the mesostructures can be safely used in the remediation of contaminated natural water.


Toxicity Zero-valent iron Mesostructure Confinement Escherichia coli 


Funding information

This work was financially supported by the Doctoral Scientific Research Foundation of Huaihai Institute of Technology (KQ15008), Innovation Foundation of Huaihai Institute of Technology (Z2016004), and Jiangsu Overseas Research & Training program for University Prominent Young & Middle-Aged Teachers and Presidents, Natural Science Fund of Jiangsu Province (BK20141247), and Innovation foundation of Huaihai Institue of Technology (Z2014014).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xia Sun
    • 1
  • Yubo Yan
    • 2
  • Mingyan Wang
    • 1
  • Zhaoxiang Han
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringHuaihai Institute of TechnologyLian yungangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Environmental and Biological EngineeringNanjing University of Science and TechnologyNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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