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Isolation of nanoplastics in fish from the North Aegean sea

Gimskog, Isabella LU (2019) KBKM05 20191
Pure and Applied Biochemistry
Theoretical Chemistry
Abstract
The breakdown of plastics in our oceans is one of our times biggest challenges. What happens when these plastics are broken down into pieces too small to see is still a mystery. Nanoplastics is a relatively new area of research and much more studies need to be done before we can get a perspective of how big the problem is. To be able to study these plastics we need a way to attain nanoplastic samples from our oceans. This thesis aims to act as a first step in suggesting a method to isolate eventual nanoplastics accumulated in fish.
Popular Abstract
This thesis investigates the possibility to find nanoplastic particles in the gills and digestive tract of food fish from the Mediterranean sea.
During the last few years microplastics has gone from being an almost unknown word to being a hot topic frequently discussed in media and possibly one of the worst environmental threats of our time. But what happens when the microplastics break down? The answer we all would wish for is that they disappear or become useful matter for the ecosystem again. This might unfortunately not be the case as plastics never break down fully but are just fragmented into smaller and smaller pieces and we might stand before an even more incomprehensible threat. Nanoplastics.
Nanoplastics are usually defined as... (More)
This thesis investigates the possibility to find nanoplastic particles in the gills and digestive tract of food fish from the Mediterranean sea.
During the last few years microplastics has gone from being an almost unknown word to being a hot topic frequently discussed in media and possibly one of the worst environmental threats of our time. But what happens when the microplastics break down? The answer we all would wish for is that they disappear or become useful matter for the ecosystem again. This might unfortunately not be the case as plastics never break down fully but are just fragmented into smaller and smaller pieces and we might stand before an even more incomprehensible threat. Nanoplastics.
Nanoplastics are usually defined as plastic particles with at least one dimension under 100nm and they are still much of a mystery in how they are formed and how they affect the ecosystem in which they are present. It can be hard to comprehend the difference between micro- and nanoplastics but as microplastics are usually defined as plastic pieces smaller than 5mm, the difference in scale is like comparing a Olympic size swimming pool to a single drop of water. They are so small that they are not restricted to the pathways we are used to and previous research shows that they can even cross the brain-blood-barrier in fish.
Nanoplastics is a new area of research and it is of great importance that we learn more, fast. This thesis aims to be a first step in finding a way to detect existence of nanoplastics in the fish we eat and thereby in our oceans. The work analyses the the particles from the digestive tract and gills of fish below the size of 1,2 μm. The findings indicate that there are nanoplastics present in the fish and that these plastics are possible to isolate.
The report also includes mechanical breakdown of microplastics found in the same fish and of a polystyrene coffee cup lid. All experiments show that nanoplastics are released in the break down process.
The hope is that this report can act as a starting point and a guide to anyone who is curious about nanoplastics and wish to isolate them from complex samples. (Less)
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author
Gimskog, Isabella LU
supervisor
organization
course
KBKM05 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
nanoplastics, microplastics, Mediterranean, fish, isolation, applied biochemistry, tillämpad biokemi
language
English
id
8994588
date added to LUP
2020-06-12 14:05:35
date last changed
2020-06-12 14:05:35
@misc{8994588,
  abstract     = {The breakdown of plastics in our oceans is one of our times biggest challenges. What happens when these plastics are broken down into pieces too small to see is still a mystery. Nanoplastics is a relatively new area of research and much more studies need to be done before we can get a perspective of how big the problem is. To be able to study these plastics we need a way to attain nanoplastic samples from our oceans. This thesis aims to act as a first step in suggesting a method to isolate eventual nanoplastics accumulated in fish.},
  author       = {Gimskog, Isabella},
  keyword      = {nanoplastics,microplastics,Mediterranean,fish,isolation,applied biochemistry,tillämpad biokemi},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Isolation of nanoplastics in fish from the North Aegean sea},
  year         = {2019},
}