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Impacts Of Proteins On Dissolution And Sulfidation Of Silver Nanowires In Aquatic Environment: Importance Of Surface Charges.

Yinqing Zhang, Jinliang Xu, Yi Yang, B. Sun, Kunkun Wang, Ling-yan Zhu
Published 2020 · Materials Science, Medicine

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With increasing utilization of silver nanomaterials, growing concerns are raised on their deleterious effects to the environment. Once discharged in aquatic environment, the interactions between silver nanowires (AgNWs) and proteins may significantly affect the environmental behaviors, fate and toxicities of AgNWs. In the present study, three representative model proteins, including ovalbumin (OVA), bovine serum albumin (BSA) and lysozyme (LYZ), were applied to investigate the impacts of the interactions between proteins and AgNWs on the transformations (oxidative dissolution and sulfidation) of AgNWs in aquatic environment. Fluorescence spectroscopy and isothermal titration calorimetry analyses indicated that there was very weak interaction between OVA or BSA and AgNWs, but there was a strong interaction between the positively charged LYZ and negatively charged AgNWs. The presence of LYZ not only reversed the surface charge of AgNWs, but also resulted in the break-up of the nanowire structure and increased the reactive surface area. The positively charged surface of AgNWs in the presence of LYZ favored the access of sulfide ions. As a consequence, the kinetics of oxidative dissolution and sulfidation of AgNWs were not affected by OVA and BSA, but were significantly facilitated by LYZ. The results shed light on the important roles of electrostatic interactions between AgNWs and proteins, which may have important implications for evaluating the fate and effects of silver nanomaterials in complicated environment.

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