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Abstract

Currently, nanoparticles are synthesized and used at an unprecedented rate for industrial, medical, and research applications. The use of cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeONP) and yttrium oxide nanoparticles (YtONP) results in their spread as contaminants into the environment. Once in the environment, CeONP and YtONP can be taken up by organisms in the food chain where they may pose a public health risk. In this study we determine whether Acanthamoeba castellanii and Daphnia magna uptake CeONP or YtONP from their environment and thereby play a role in the transmission of the nanoparticles. Using electron microscopy, orgranisms exposed to the nanoparticles were examined. Our results indicate that the nanoparticles are associated with cell and organelle membranes. These findings have implications for the health risks associated with environmental contamination by CeONP and YtONP.

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