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How dangerous are micro- and nanoplastics? Do they affect the environment? What harm can they do to our bodies? Questions that we can now finally answer because of Fazel Abdolahpur Monikh. Together with his colleagues, he developed a method to detect and quantify nano-sized plastics. Their paper has been published in the journal Environmental Pollution.
A short look around our house or office illustrates that plastics have become an essential part of our lives. Plastic is a great material to work with because it is durable and strong. But thanks to these properties plastic also degrades really badly. In fact, when plastics enter the environment, most of them will only be fragmented into smaller and smaller pieces. Eventually, these pieces become so small that we cannot trace them anymore. What will finally happen to such small pieces of plastic? So far, we haven't been able to answer these questions, because there were no sufficient methods and techniques. Together with the Biologics Formulation Group at the Division of Drug Delivery Technology Leiden, Fazel Abdolahpur Monikh from the Institute of Environmental Sciences now developed the first method ever to quantify and characterise nanoplastics in nature.
Nanoplastics - Materials - Abdolahpur - Monikh - Techniques
"Micro- and nanoplastics are carbon-based materials," explains Abdolahpur Monikh. "Many existing analytical techniques have limitations in dealing with these plastics in physiological media such as blood and tissues, which also contain carbon compounds themselves. Due to the low mass detection limits of the existing techniques, those minuscule plastics are very hard to detect." The new method uses acid digestion, alkali digestion, ultracentrifugation and stabilisers to extract the particles from biological samples. This way...
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