Publications by authors named "Ivo Vavra"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Impact of Bulk ZnO, ZnO Nanoparticles and Dissolved Zn on Early Growth Stages of Barley-A Pot Experiment.

Plants (Basel) 2020 Oct 15;9(10). Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Institute of Electrical Engineering, Slovak Academy of Sciences, 841 04 Bratislava, Slovakia.

Zinc is among the most in-demand metals in the world which also means that a considerable amount of this element is released to the environment each year as a result of human activities. A pot experiment was conducted to study the impact of low- and high-dose zinc amendments on plant growth and biomass yield, with Calcic Chernozem as a growing medium and barley ( L.) as a model plant. The distribution of zinc in various plant parts was also investigated. Zn (II) was added in powder as bulk ZnO and in solution as ZnO nanoparticles and ZnSO in two dosages (3 and 30 mmol kg soil) prior to planting. The plants were harvested after 10 days of growth. The three sets of data were taken under identical experimental conditions. The application of zinc in aqueous solution and in particulate form (having particle sizes in the range of <100 nm to >500 nm) at concentration of 3 and 30 mmol Zn kg to the soil resulted in decreased growth (root length, shoot length) and biomass yield; the only exception was the addition of 30 mmol Zn kg in the form of bulk ZnO, which had a positive effect on the root growth. The dry weight reduction (sprout biomass) was lowest in plants grown in soil treated with dissolved zinc. There were no statistically significant changes in the content of chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b and total chlorophyll, although flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS) analysis indicated that plants bioaccumulated the zinc applied. This implies that the transport of zinc into the above-ground plant parts is controlled by the presence of effective mechanical and physiological barriers in roots. Crop performance under zinc stress in relation to biomass production and the growth of roots and shoots is also partly a reflection of the effects of soil properties. Our findings emphasize the importance of considering plant-soil interactions in research of potential toxicity and bioavailability of zinc in the environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants9101365DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7602504PMC
October 2020

Fungus Processes Exogenous Zinc Nanoparticles into a Biogenic Oxalate Mineral.

J Fungi (Basel) 2020 Oct 8;6(4). Epub 2020 Oct 8.

Institute of Laboratory Research on Geomaterials, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava, Mlynská dolina, Ilkovičova 6, 842 15 Bratislava, Slovakia.

Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) belong to the most widely used nanoparticles in both commercial products and industrial applications. Hence, they are frequently released into the environment. Soil fungi can affect the mobilization of zinc from ZnO NPs in soils, and thus they can heavily influence the mobility and bioavailability of zinc there. Therefore, ubiquitous soil fungus was selected as a test organism to evaluate the fungal interaction with ZnO NPs. As anticipated, the strain significantly affected the stability of particulate forms of ZnO due to the acidification of its environment. The influence of ZnO NPs on fungus was compared to the aqueous Zn cations and to bulk ZnO as well. Bulk ZnO had the least effect on fungal growth, while the response of to ZnO NPs was comparable with ionic zinc. Our results have shown that soil fungus can efficiently bioaccumulate Zn that was bioextracted from ZnO. Furthermore, it influences Zn bioavailability to plants by ZnO NPs transformation to stable biogenic minerals. Hence, a newly formed biogenic mineral phase of zinc oxalate was identified after the experiment with strain's extracellular metabolites highlighting the fungal significance in zinc biogeochemistry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jof6040210DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7712133PMC
October 2020

Partitioning and stability of ionic, nano- and microsized zinc in natural soil suspensions.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Jan 13;700:134445. Epub 2019 Sep 13.

Institute of Laboratory Research on Geomaterials, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava, Ilkovičova 6, 842 15 Bratislava, Slovakia.

Batch experiments aimed at solid-liquid distribution of 40 nm engineered zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NP), microparticles (bulk ZnO), and ionic Zn in ZnSO solution were conducted on eight field soil samples of different characteristics to identify how the form of Zn affects its distribution in soil. The concentration of Zn in different size fractions present in supernatant solutions obtained from centrifuged soil suspensions was also measured. The distribution between a liquid and a solid was different for the ionic Zn (ZnSO) and particulate Zn (ZnO-NP and bulk ZnO). In acidic soil solutions, the partitioning coefficient (KA) of the ionic Zn was in range of 14.7-15.9 compared to 133.4-194.1 for ZnO-NP and bulk ZnO. The situation was reversed under alkaline conditions resulting in a decreased retention of particulate forms of Zn by the solids, with ZnO-NP showing KA of 8.5-23.4 compared to 160.0-760.1 of ionic Zn. Soil pH thus appears to be the predominant factor influencing the solid-liquid distribution of Zn in different forms. Even the distribution of Zn in different size fractions is heavily affected by the soil pH, causing dissolution of ZnO-NP and bulk ZnO in acidic soils. In alkaline soils, applied ionic Zn (ZnSO) remained dissolved. This study shows that ZnO-NP are the most mobile of the three tested forms of Zn in alkaline soils. This may affect the spatial distribution of Zn in soil and potentially increase the effectivity of the application of Zn fertilizer when in nanoparticle form.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134445DOI Listing
January 2020

Toxicity evaluation of monodisperse PEGylated magnetic nanoparticles for nanomedicine.

Nanotoxicology 2019 05 1;13(4):510-526. Epub 2019 Feb 1.

a Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Czech Academy of Sciences , Prague , Czech Republic.

Innovative nanotechnology aims to develop particles that are small, monodisperse, smart, and do not cause unintentional side effects. Uniform magnetic FeO nanoparticles (12 nm in size) were prepared by thermal decomposition of iron(III) oleate. To make them colloidally stable and dispersible in water and cell culture medium, they were modified with phosphonic acid- (PA) and hydroxamic acid (HA)-terminated poly(ethylene glycol) yielding PA-PEG@FeO and HA-PEG@FeO nanoparticles; conventional γ-FeO particles were prepared as a control. Advanced techniques were used to evaluate the properties and safety of the particles. Completeness of the nanoparticle coating was tested by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Interaction of the particles with primary human peripheral blood cells, cellular uptake, cytotoxicity, and immunotoxicity were also investigated. Amount of internalized iron in peripheral blood mononuclear cells was 72, 38, and 25 pg Fe/cell for HA-PEG@FeO, γ-FeO, and PA-PEG@FeO, respectively. Nanoparticles were localized within the cytoplasm and in the extracellular space. No cytotoxic effect of both PEGylated nanoparticles was observed (0.12-75 μg/cm) after 24 and 72-h incubation. Moreover, no suppressive effect was found on the proliferative activity of T-lymphocytes and T-dependent B-cell response, phagocytic activity of monocytes and granulocytes, and respiratory burst of phagocytes. Similarly, no cytotoxic effect of γ-FeO particles was observed. However, they suppressed the proliferative activity of T-lymphocytes (75 μg/cm, 72 h) and also decreased the phagocytic activity of monocytes (15 μg/cm, 24 h; 3-75 μg/cm, 72 h). We thus show that newly developed particles have great potential especially in cancer diagnostics and therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17435390.2018.1555624DOI Listing
May 2019

Increased Colloidal Stability and Decreased Solubility-Sol-Gel Synthesis of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles with Humic Acids.

J Nanosci Nanotechnol 2019 May;19(5):3024-3030

Institute of Laboratory Research on Geomaterials, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava, Ilkovičcova 6, 842 15 Bratislava, Slovakia.

Adding the humic acid coating to the nanoparticles of zinc oxide (ZnO-NP) may improve the properties necessary for their colloidal stability. To show how humic acid coating affects the properties of ZnO-NP, three differently sol-gel synthesized ZnO-NP were synthesized: pristine zinc oxide nanoparticles without coating (p-ZnO-NP) and humic acid coated zinc oxide nanoparticles at two different initial concentrations of 20 mg/L (HA20-ZnO-NP) and 200 mg/L (HA200-ZnO-NP) of humic acids in the starting solution. All ZnO-NP were found to be nanocrystals of mineral zincite exhibiting wurtzite crystal symmetry. Transmission electron microscopy showed that capping by humic acids during synthesis decreased the size of HA20-ZnO-NP and HA200-ZnO-NP compared to p-ZnO-NP nanoparticles. Via experiments, HA20-ZnO-NP were found to dissolve less and have a similar or higher stability than both p-ZnO-NP and HA200-ZnO-NP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2019.15868DOI Listing
May 2019

Nanogold Biosynthesis Mediated by Mixed Flower Pollen Grains.

J Nanosci Nanotechnol 2019 May;19(5):2983-2988

Department of Chemistry, Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies, AP IIIT, Nuzvid, Krishna District 521202, India.

Physical and chemical methods for nanoparticle synthesis are disadvantageous to less energy demanding and more efficient and environmentally friendly biological approaches. Thus, in this paper, we designed simple, bottom-up, , static experiment under laboratory conditions using suspension of mixed flower pollen grains for nanoparticle synthesis. Pollen grains provided template substrates for gold nanoparticles synthesis from dissolved Au(III). Transmission and scanning electron microscopy along with ultraviolet-visible spectra confirmed the gold nanoparticles formation. The biosynthesized/phytosynthesized gold nanoparticles had relative narrow size distribution (from 3 to 11 nm) with dominant spherical morphology with no aggregated forms. Thus, the gold nanoparticles in pollen dispersion provides excellent stability and dispersity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2019.15853DOI Listing
May 2019

Automotive airborne brake wear debris nanoparticles and cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay in peripheral blood lymphocytes: A pilot study.

Environ Res 2016 07 29;148:443-449. Epub 2016 Apr 29.

Health Effects Laboratory, Department of Environmental Chemistry, NILU-Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Instituttveien 18, 2007 Kjeller, Norway.

Motor vehicle exhaust and non-exhaust processes play a significant role in environmental pollution, as they are a source of the finest particulate matter. Emissions from non-exhaust processes include wear-products of brakes, tires, automotive hardware, road surface, and traffic signs, but still are paid little attention to. Automotive friction composites for brake pads are composite materials which may consist of potentially hazardous materials and there is a lack of information regarding the potential influence of the brake wear debris (BWD) on the environment, especially on human health. Thus, we focused our study on the genotoxicity of the airborne fraction of BWD using a brake pad model representing an average low-metallic formulation available in the EU market. BWD was generated in the laboratory by a full-scale brake dynamometer and characterized by Raman microspectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy showing that it contains nano-sized crystalline metal-based particles. Genotoxicity tested in human lymphocytes in different testing conditions showed an increase in frequencies of micronucleated binucleated cells (MNBNCs) exposed for 48h to BWD nanoparticles (NPs) (with 10% of foetal calf serum in culture medium) compared with lymphocytes exposed to medium alone, statistically significant only at the concentration 3µg/cm(2) (p=0.032).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2016.04.022DOI Listing
July 2016

Functionalized porous silica&maghemite core-shell nanoparticles for applications in medicine: design, synthesis, and immunotoxicity.

Croat Med J 2016 Apr;57(2):165-78

Daniel Horak, Department of Polymer Particles, Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Heyrovskeho Sq. 2 , 162 06 Prague 6, Czech Republic,

Aim: To determine cytotoxicity and effect of silica-coated magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) on immune response, in particular lymphocyte proliferative activity, phagocytic activity, and leukocyte respiratory burst and in vitro production of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and 8 (IL-8), interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF).

Methods: Maghemite was prepared by coprecipitation of iron salts with ammonia, oxidation with NaOCl and modified by tetramethyl orthosilicate and aminosilanes. Particles were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Cytotoxicity and lymphocyte proliferative activity were assessed using [3H]-thymidine incorporation into DNA of proliferating human peripheral blood cells. Phagocytic activity and leukocyte respiratory burst were measured by flow cytometry; cytokine levels in cell supernatants were determined by ELISA.

Results: γ-Fe2O3&SiO2-NH2 MNPs were 13 nm in size. According to TEM, they were localized in the cell cytoplasm and extracellular space. Neither cytotoxic effect nor significant differences in T-lymphocyte and T-dependent B-cell proliferative response were found at particle concentrations 0.12-75 μg/cm2 after 24, 48, and 72 h incubation. Significantly increased production of IL-6 and 8, and GM-CSF cytokines was observed in the cells treated with 3, 15, and 75 µg of particles/cm2 for 48 h and stimulated with pokeweed mitogen (PHA). No significant changes in TNF-α and IFN-γ production were observed. MNPs did not affect phagocytic activity of monocytes and granulocytes when added to cells for 24 and 48 h. Phagocytic respiratory burst was significantly enhanced in the cultures exposed to 75 µg MNPs/cm2 for 48 h.

Conclusions: The cytotoxicity and in vitro immunotoxicity were found to be minimal in the newly developed porous core-shell γ-Fe2O3&SiO2-NH2 magnetic nanoparticles.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4856187PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.3325/cmj.2016.57.165DOI Listing
April 2016

Delayed adverse effects of neonatal exposure to polymeric nanoparticle poly(ethylene glycol)-block-polylactide methyl ether on hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis development and function in Wistar rats.

Reprod Toxicol 2015 Nov 17;57:165-75. Epub 2015 Jul 17.

Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovak Republic. Electronic address:

We studied delayed effects of neonatal exposure to polymeric nanoparticle poly(ethylene glycol)-block-polylactide methyl ether (PEG-b-PLA) on the endpoints related to pubertal development and reproductive function in female Wistar rats from postnatal day 4 (PND4) to PND 176. Female pups were injected intraperitoneally, daily, from PND4 to PND7 with PEG-b-PLA (20 or 40mg/kg b.w.). Both doses of PEG-b-PLA accelerated the onset of vaginal opening compared with the control group. In the low-dose PEG-b-PLA-treated group, a significantly reduced number of regular estrous cycles, increased pituitary weight due to hyperemia, vascular dilatation and congestion, altered course of hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone-stimulated luteinizing hormone secretion, and increased progesterone serum levels were observed. The obtained data indicate that neonatal exposure to PEG-b-PLA might affect the development and function of hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis (HPO), and thereby alter functions of the reproductive system in adult female rats. Our study indicates a possible neuroendocrine disrupting effect of PEG-b-PLA nanoparticles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.reprotox.2015.07.072DOI Listing
November 2015

Coating-dependent induction of cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of iron oxide nanoparticles.

Nanotoxicology 2015 May 14;9 Suppl 1:44-56. Epub 2013 Nov 14.

Health Effects Laboratory, Department of Environmental Chemistry, NILU, Norwegian Institute for Air Research , Kjeller , Norway .

Surface coatings of nanoparticles (NPs) are known to influence advantageous features of NPs as well as potential toxicity. Iron oxide (Fe3O4) NPs are applied for both medical diagnostics and targeted drug delivery. We investigated the potential cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of uncoated iron oxide (U-Fe3O4) NPs in comparison with oleate-coated iron oxide (OC-Fe3O4) NPs. Testing was performed in vitro in human lymphoblastoid TK6 cells and in primary human blood cells. For cytotoxicity testing, relative growth activity, trypan blue exclusion, (3)H-thymidine incorporation and cytokinesis-block proliferation index were assessed. Genotoxicity was evaluated by the alkaline comet assay for detection of strand breaks and oxidized purines. Particle characterization was performed in the culture medium. Cellular uptake, morphology and pathology were evaluated by electron microscopy. U-Fe3O4 NPs were found not to be cytotoxic (considering interference of NPs with proliferation test) or genotoxic under our experimental conditions. In contrast, OC-Fe3O4 NPs were cytotoxic in a dose-dependent manner, and also induced DNA damage, indicating genotoxic potential. Intrinsic properties of sodium oleate were excluded as a cause of the toxic effect. Electron microscopy data were consistent with the cytotoxicity results. Coating clearly changed the behaviour and cellular uptake of the NPs, inducing pathological morphological changes in the cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/17435390.2013.847505DOI Listing
May 2015

Immunotoxicity and genotoxicity testing of PLGA-PEO nanoparticles in human blood cell model.

Nanotoxicology 2015 May;9 Suppl 1:33-43

Department of Immunology and Immunotoxicology and Department of Experimental and Applied Genetics, Slovak Medical University , Bratislava , Slovakia .

A human blood cell model for immunotoxicity and genotoxicity testing was used to measure the response to polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA-PEO) nanoparticle (NP) (0.12, 3, 15 and 75 μg/cm(2) exposure in fresh peripheral whole blood cultures/isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures from human volunteers (n = 9-13). PLGA-PEO NPs were not toxic up to dose 3 μg/cm(2); dose of 75 μg/cm(2) displays significant decrease in [(3)H]-thymidine incorporation into DNA of proliferating cells after 4 h (70% of control) and 48 h (84%) exposure to NPs. In non-cytotoxic concentrations, in vitro assessment of the immunotoxic effects displayed moderate but significant suppression of proliferative activity of T-lymphocytes and T-dependent B-cell response in cultures stimulated with PWM > CON A, and no changes in PHA cultures. Decrease in proliferative function was the most significant in T-cells stimulated with CD3 antigen (up to 84%). Cytotoxicity of natural killer cells was suppressed moderately (92%) but significantly in middle-dosed cultures (4 h exposure). On the other hand, in low PLGA-PEO NPs dosed cultures, significant stimulation of phagocytic activity of granulocytes (119%) > monocytes (117%) and respiratory burst of phagocytes (122%) was recorded. Genotoxicity assessment revealed no increase in the number of micronucleated binucleated cells and no induction of SBs or oxidised DNA bases in PLGA-PEO-treated cells. To conclude on immuno- and genotoxicity of PLGA-PEO NPs, more experiments with various particle size, charge and composition need to be done.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/17435390.2013.816798DOI Listing
May 2015