What is it about?

Proteomics, study of an organisms's proteins, can help scientists understand more about environmental toxicity of nanoparticles.

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Why is it important?

Increasing human population puts pressure on the environment. Rivers and other water sources get contaminated. Among the newly identified contaminants are engineered nanoparticles (ENPs). ENPs are tiny particles, some even the size of bacteria that they can’t be seen with a naked eye. Scientists have established that these tiny particles can also be harmful to organisms in the environment, such as bacteria, fish and even plants. However, they do not fully understand how ENPs actually cause harm to the affected organisms. If they could know, they would be jn a better position to make less harmful ENPs.


Scientists do not know much about such effects because they have not yet identified the best laboratory equipment for such studies. In this review paper, we have summarized what is already known regarding interactions between ENPs and organisms in the environment, specifically in organisms’ cells and how cellular proteins are affected. We are of the view that proteomics, a way of studying proteins of an organisms, is the most ideal way to fill the knowledge gap. We have gone a step further and weighed the advantages and disadvantages of popular proteomics techniques. We concluded our paper by giving some recommendations on how proteomics can be improved so that scientists can have more understanding about the harmful effects of ENPs. For example, we recommend that proteomics can be used in combination with other non-proteomic techniques.

Gosaitse Tubatsi
Botswana International University of Science and Technology

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Proteomic evaluation of nanotoxicity in aquatic organisms: A review, PROTEOMICS, September 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/pmic.202200008.
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