Toxicity of nanoparticles to brine shrimp: An introduction to nanotoxicity and interdisciplinary science

Melissa A. Maurer-Jones, Sara A. Love, Sharon Meierhofer, Bryce J. Marquis, Zhen Liu, Christy L. Haynes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Nanotoxicity is an area of intense research, stimulated by increased use of nanoparticles in commercially available products. Herein, using nanotoxicity as a platform, we describe an experiment that emphasizes interdisciplinary science in a collaborative work setting while expanding the traditional realm of chemistry and chemistry research. Students synthesize two noble metal nanoparticle suspensions (Au and Ag) and expose brine shrimp to these nanoparticles, assessing the brine shrimp viability after 24 h exposure. By examining two different nanoparticles at several concentrations, with appropriate control conditions, students can work together to collect and analyze all the toxicity results necessary to draw conclusions about the toxicity of Au and Ag nanoparticles. This experiment provides introductory chemistry students hands-on experience with a cutting-edge area of science while showcasing the real-world application of chemistry to an important modern scientific problem, nanoparticle toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-478
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 9 2013


  • Collaborative/ Cooperative Learning
  • First-Year Undergraduate/General
  • Hands-On Learning/Manipulatives
  • High School/Introductory Chemistry
  • Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary
  • Laboratory Instruction
  • Nanotechnology
  • Toxicology


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