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Abstract Title: Tracking plastic particles by labelling the carbon back bone using radioisotopes
Presenter Name: Dr Maya AL SID CHEIKH
Company/Organisation: University of Surrey
Country: United Kingdom

Abstract Information :

The general technique of radiolabelling involves labelling a molecule with radioactive atoms to follow the fate of that molecule within a specific cell, a particular tissue, an entire organism, or even an ecosystem e.g. using mesocosms. Current use of radiotracer techniques in medicinal sciences has reduced the price of ultra-sensitive analytical equipment and made them accessible to other areas of knowledge such as biogeochemistry, ecotoxicology, environmental engineering as well as food security. Radiolabelling approaches always uses very low doses of radiation so that the labelled molecules never pose any threat to the organisms under investigation or to the experimenter. rnThe Applied Radioisotope amp; Environmental Laboratory ARIEL funded by NERC is designed for the safe handling of radioisotopes and their use as radiolabels in environmentally realistic experimental settings e.g. in sediments, soils, water and organisms. The initial focus of ARIEL is to investigate the fate, behaviour and accumulation of Contaminants of Emerging Concerns e.g. Plastic Particles and legacy contaminants e.g. Hg, Cd, Ti in the food web and diverse ecosystems. In this presentation, I will exemplify, using studies published 2018 and 2020, how the use of radioisotopes provides an accurate and precise quantification of toxicokinetic and tissue distribution of nanoparticles of plastics that were not possible before.rnThe research generated by ARIEL will be key in terms of acquiring new knowledge on the behaviour of aquatic species and ecosystems in the face of environmental stressors e.g. toxic inputs and environmental change. The laboratory provides a state-of-the-art facility for the next generation of ecotoxicology and environmental studies. While open to host external collaborative experiments, ARIEL will also offer a unique opportunity world-wide to train highly qualified personnel via the Bachelor, master and doctoral programs in radiochemistry at the University of Surrey.rnrnAl-Sid-Cheikh, M. et al. Uptake, Whole-Body Distribution, and Depuration of Nanoplastics by the Scallop Pecten maximus at Environmentally Realistic Concentrations. Environ. Sci. Technol. 52, 1448014486 2018.Al-Sid-Cheikh, M. et al. Synthesis of 14C-labelled polystyrene nanoplastics for environmental studies. Commun. Mater. 1, 97 2020.

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