The development of new nanomaterials has been the subject of intense research in the field of nanotechnology. Nanomaterials are characterized by presenting size ranging between 1 and 100 nm, and have specific physical properties that allow application in several areas including physics, biology and medicine. Among the existing nanomaterials, we can highlight the graphene; it is characterized by being a planar material formed by hybridized carbon atoms in the sp2 form and has specific properties to be applied in several areas. Due to the high possibility of graphene application, there is concern that this nanomaterial could be released to aquatic environments, either during its manufacturing process or its use in different areas. Therefore, ecotoxicological assessments are a useful tool to identify the possible effects that nanomaterials, including graphene, are likely to cause on the environment and human health. For these evaluations, it is recommend the use of fish Danio rerio (zebrafish). These organisms are sensitive to environmental pollutants, show genetic proximity to other vertebrates including humans and are easy to adapt to laboratory conditions. Exposure of fish to graphene nanoparticles may result in significant changes on the metabolism of organisms, including damage to the genetic material of cells (DNA). Such damage can be seen from genotoxicity assessment, including the use of standardized comet assay capable of detecting breaks in DNA single strand as initial damage. Given the above, the objective of this proposal is to evaluate possible damage to the genetic material of the fish gills of zebrafish cells after exposure to increasing concentrations of nanoparticle graphene oxide. The results of this study will be important for the characterization of the nanoparticles effects on aquatic organisms which have not been evaluated in detail in the literature.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: