Summary and Analysis of the Currently Existing Literature Data on Metal-based Nanoparticles Published for Selected Aquatic Organisms: Applicability for Toxicity Prediction by (Q)SARs

Guangchao Chen, Martina G. Vijver and Willie J.G.M. Peijnenburg

This review establishes an inventory of existing toxicity data on nanoparticles (NPs) with the purpose of developing (Quantitative) Structure–Activity Relationships for NPs (nano-[Q]SARs), and also of maximising the use of scientific sources for NP risk assessment. From a data search carried out on 27 February 2014, a total of 910 publications were retrieved from the Web of Science™ Core Collection, and a database comprising 886 records of toxicity endpoints, based on these publications, was built. The test organisms mainly comprised bacteria, algae, yeast, protozoa, nematoda, crustacea and fish. The NPs consisted mostly of metals, metal oxides, nanocomposites and quantum dots. The data were analysed further, in order to: a) categorise each toxicity endpoint and the biological effects triggered by the NPs; b) survey the characterisation of the NPs used; and c) assess whether the data were suitable for nano-(Q)SAR development. Despite the efforts of numerous scientific programmes on nanomaterial safety and design, our study concluded that lack of data consistency prevents the use of experimental data in developing and validating nano-(Q)SARs. Finally, an outlook on the future of nano-(Q)SAR development is provided.
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