Ecotoxicological effects and mechanism of CuO nanoparticles to individual organisms.Environ Pollut. 2017 Feb; 221:209-217.EP
Copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO NPs) are used extensively in a variety of applications such as antimicrobial agent, photo-catalyst and gas sensors. The expanding production and widespread utilization of CuO NPs may pose risks to individual organisms and ecosystem. Comprehensive understanding the CuO NPs-induced adverse effects and their underlying mechanism are of great importance to assess the environmental risk of CuO NPs and to expand their use safely. However, toxic effects of CuO NPs to individual organisms and the mechanism of their action are still deficient and ambiguities. To ensure the safely use of CuO NPs, more attention should be paid on the long-term and chronic effects of CuO NPs at low concentration. Efforts should be devoted to develop techniques to differentiate toxicities induced by CuO NPs or dissolved Cu2+, and to reduce the toxicity of CuO NPs by controlling the particle diameter, modifying surface characteristic, selecting proper exposure route and regulating the release of Cu2+ from CuO NPs. This review provides a brief overview of toxicity of CuO NPs to individual organisms with a broad range of taxa (microorganisms, algae, plants, invertebrates and vertebrates) and to discuss the underlying toxicity mechanisms including oxidative stress, dynamic unbalance and coordination effects.