The rapid development of carbonaceous nanomaterials (CNMs) will lead to increasingly high levels of CNMs in the environment. Numerous studies have indicated that CNMs may cause inhibitory effects on a wide range of ecological receptors; different types of CNMs with various physicochemical properties may result in different toxic effects.
Ying’s research aims at developing a set of high throughput screening (HTS) assays to study the comparative toxicity of seven types of CNMs (including five types of multiwalled carbon nanotubes, MWCNTs, one type of graphene nanoplatelets and carbon black as a negative control) to an environmentally-relevant and functionally important nitrogen (N2)-fixing bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum. Taking advantage of HTS approaches, large amounts of data on the impact of CNMs with various properties can be acquired in an efficient manner and will offer profound implications for evaluating the ecological risk of CNMs. More importantly, a deeper understanding of the structure-activity relationships for CNMs by correlating their toxicity with physicochemical characteristics, will help to inform safer designs and promote sustainable implementation of CNMs in the future.
Advisor: Patricia Holden