Accumulation of aqueous and nanoparticulate silver by the marine gastropod littorina littorea
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The accumulation of Ag by the marine herbivorous gastropod, Littorina littorea, has been studied in a series of exposures in which the metal was added in aqueous form and as nanoparticles, both in the presence and absence of contaminated algal food (Ulva lactuca). Significant accumulation occurred in the gill, kidney, stomach and visceral mass when the snail was exposed to aqueous Ag in the absence of food. Despite the consumption of U. lactuca that had been previously contaminated by Ag, no accumulation was observed from the dietary route. When added as nanoparticles, accumulation of Ag was only measured in the head and gill and only in the absence of contaminated food. These observations suggest that Ag is most bioavailable to L. littorina when in true solution and that Ag measured in external tissues of the snail following exposure to nanoparticles arises from some physical association that does not result in significant transfer of the metal to internal organs. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
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