A scientific project with Nataliia Ryzhenko, Ukrainian scientist
The "Trojan horse effect " of nanoplastic particles (NPs) for many pollutants, in particular, metals and organic substances is already known. "Trojan horse effect " is mostly studied in the aquatic environment, missing the problem of increasing the combined bioaccumulation of NPs and pollutants (organic/inorganic) in the terrestrial ecosystem. However, the main routes of entry of NPs and associated pollutants into the human body are through the consumption of not only seafood or polluted water, but also agricultural crops (corn, sunflower, etc.). Therefore, the study of bioaccumulation of NPs and their combined action with toxic metals and phenanthrene for plants becomes important and requires a solution. The main questions addressed in this project will be: the identification of the parameters controlling the absorption and translocation of nanoplastics and associated pollutants, particularly to assess the transfer in the trophic chain; ecotoxicological effects; feedback effects from the rhizosphere on the mobility and bioavailability of nanoplastics and associated metals. To reach the objectives, the project will be resolutely experimental based on the use of innovative experimental devices (i.e. Rhizotest) and NPs analytical and characterization methodologies.