Toxicity of TiO2, ZrO2, Fe0, Fe2O3, and Mn2O3 nanoparticles to the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Lila Otero-González, Citlali García-Saucedo, James A. Field, Reyes Sierra-Álvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


The growing application of engineered nanomaterials is leading to an increased occurrence of nanoparticles (NPs) in the environment. Thus, there is a need to better understand their potential impact on the environment. This study evaluated the toxicity of nanosized TiO2, ZrO2, Fe0, Fe2O3, and Mn2O3 towards the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae based on O2 consumption and cell membrane integrity. In addition, the state of dispersion of the nanoparticles in the bioassay medium was characterized.All the nanomaterials showed high tendency to aggregate in the bioassay medium. A non-toxic polyacrylate dispersant was used to improve the NP dispersion stability and test the influence of the aggregation state in their toxicity. Mn2O3 NPs showed the highest inhibition of O2 consumption (50% at 170mgL-1) and cell membrane damage (approximately 30% of cells with compromised membrane at 1000mgL-1), while the other NPs caused low (Fe0) or no toxicity (TiO2, ZrO2, and Fe2O3) to the yeast. Dispersant supplementation decreased the inhibition caused by Mn2O3 NPs at low concentrations, which could indicate that dispersant association with the particles may have an impact on the interaction between the NPs and the cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1201-1206
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Cytotoxicity
  • Inorganic nanoparticles
  • Manganese oxide
  • Nanotoxicology
  • Titanium oxide
  • Zero-valent iron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • General Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


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