Building bridges between specialists on computational and empirical risk assessment of engineered nanomaterials

Błażej Poźniak (UG, UPWr) at Jackson State University (ICN)

UntitledI came to the Interdisciplinary Center for Nanotoxicity, Jackson State University for three months (Sep 15th –Dec 15th 2014) to perform research within the WP 2 – “Carrying out experiments to produce necessary (missing) data for nanoparticles.”
My main scientific interest has been focused on carbon nanotubes’ (CNT) interactions with proteins, with particular regard to the effect on CNT dispersibility. This property is considered an important factor in potential CNT toxicity. During my work I developed a large library of CNT (27 various items), characterized their morphological properties with the use of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and identified their chemical functionalization by means of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). Next, I investigated the stability of CNT dispersions in water and model protein solution (bovine serum albumin, BSA) by means of UV-VIS spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS) and zeta-potential measurement. Additionally, all CNT were investigated for their hydrophobicity index based on octanol/water partitioning.
In the course of my research I developed a new approach to CNT dispersion stability assessment and proposed a novel descriptor to quantify this property. The proposed stability index correlated well with parameters traditionally associated with the stability of nanodispersions – zeta-potential and hydrodynamic diameter. The obtained data will be further used for nanoQSAR modelling to investigate the possibility of developing models for CNTs interaction with BSA.
During my stay in Jackson I had an opportunity not only to learn new methods applied in nanomaterial characterization but also to experience the unique culture and hospitality of the American South and, in particular, the State of Mississippi.


University of Gdansk
Faculty of Chemistry
ul. Wita Stwosza 63
80-952 Gdansk

European Commision