Cefic-lri Programme | European Chemical Industry Council

N2-YORK: Detection, Fate and Uptake of Engineered Nanoparticles in Aquatic Systems

Principal Investigator

Dr. Alistair Boxall
York, YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1904 462142


Dr Anders Baun, Danish Technical University, DK, abau@env.dtu.dk
Dr Martin Hassellov, Gothenburg University, SE, martin.hassellov@gu.se
Dr Frank von der Kammer, University of Vienna, AT, frank.von.der.kammer@univie.ac.at

Dr Jon Veinot, University of Alberta, CA, jonathan.veinot@ualberta.ca


Nanotechnology is a new and fast emerging field that involves manufacture of materials that are less than 100 nm in size in one dimension. Due to their extremely small size, engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) exhibit properties that are vastly different from their’parent’ chemicals, and their reactive surface areas are considerably greater than the corresponding conventional forms. ENPs are currently being used in a variety of consumer products including TiO2 in paints and ZnO in sunscreens. A number of other applications are in the pipeline. It is inevitable that during their manufacture and use, ENPs will be released to the environment. The proliferation of nanotechnology has therefore prompted concerns over their safety when released into the environment

The overall aim of the proposed project is to explore those factors and mechanisms affecting the release, behaviour and uptake of current and future use engineered nanoparticles in the aquatic environment. The results will be used to develop guidance on the design and interpretation of aquatic environmental fate and effects studies.

Related Publications


Liu J, Legros S, Ma G, Veinot JG, von der Kammer F, Hofmann T. Influence of surface functionalization and particle size on the aggregation kinetics of engineered nanoparticles. Chemosphere. 2012 May;87(8):918-24.

Luo P, Morrison I, Dudkiewicz A, Tiede K, Boyes E, O’Toole P, Park S, Boxall AB. Visualization and characterization of engineered nanoparticles in complex environmental and food matrices using atmospheric scanning electron microscopy. J Microsc. 2013 Apr;250(1):32-41.

Park S, Woodhall J, Ma G, Veinot JG, Cresser MS, Boxall AB. Regulatory ecotoxicity testing of engineered nanoparticles: are the results relevant to the natural environment? Nanotoxicology. 2014 Aug;8(5):583-92.

Skjolding LM, Kern K, Hjorth R, Hartmann N, Overgaard S, Ma G, Veinot JG, Baun A. Uptake and depuration of gold nanoparticles in Daphnia magna. Ecotoxicology. 2014 Sep;23(7):1172-83.

Park S, Woodhall J, Ma G, Veinot JG, Boxall AB. Do particle size and surface functionality affect uptake and depuration of gold nanoparticles by aquatic invertebrates? Environ Toxicol Chem. 2015 Apr;34(4):850-9.

Luo P, Roca A, Tiede K, Privett K, Jiang J, Pinkstone J, Ma G, Veinot J, Boxall A. Application of nanoparticle tracking analysis for characterising the fate of engineered nanoparticles in sediment-water systems. J Environ Sci (China). 2018 Feb;64:62-71.


A. Boxall, M. Hasselloev, F. von der Kammer, A. Baun, J. Veinot, K. Tiede, P. Luo, Sujung Park. Fate and uptake of nanoparticles in aquatic systems: what are the implications for environmental risk assessment. Cefic-LRI Annual Workshop, November, Brussels, Belgium.

A. Boxall. Effects of size and functionality on the fate and uptake of gold nanoparticles. Canadian Society of Chemistry Conference, June 2011, Montreal, QC, Canada.

A. Boxall. Assessing exposure and effects for aquatic environmental risk assessment: the challenges of engineered nanoparticles. 3rd International Conference on Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, May 2011, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.

A. Boxall. Nanopesticides: How to Solve World Hunger? Gordon Research Conference on Environmental Nanotechnology, June 2013, Stowe, VT, USA.


P. Luo, K. Tiede, N. BlochHartmann, K. Kern, J. Veinot, S. Legros, A. Baun, A. Boxall. Detection of Nanoparticles in Sediment – dwelling Worms. Cefic-LRI Annual Workshop, November, Brussels, Belgium.

Timeline: December 2008 > December 2010

LRI funding: € 500 000

Cefic-Lri Programme Responsible Care

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