Effect of titanium dioxide nanomaterials and ultraviolet light coexposure on African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis)

Junling Zhang, Mike Wages, Stephen Cox, Jonathan Maul, Yujia Li, Melanie Barnes, Louisa Hope-Weeks, George Cobb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Titanium dioxide nanomaterials (nano-TiO 2) exhibit stronger photochemical oxidation/reduction capacity compared with their bulk counterparts, but the effectiveness of nano-TiO 2 interaction with ultraviolet (UV) light strongly depends on particle size. In this study, the dependence of nano-TiO 2 toxicity on particle size and interaction with UV light were investigated. Toxicity tests with Xenopus laevis included eight concentrations of nano-TiO 2 in the presence of either white light or UVA (315-400nm). We quantified viability and growth of Xenopus laevis. Results showed that, regardless of UV light exposure, increasing TiO 2 concentration decreased X. laevis survival (p<0.05). Coexposure to 5-nm TiO 2 and UVA caused near-significant decreases in X. laevis survival (p=0.08). Coexposure to 10-nm TiO 2 and UVA significantly decreased X. laevis survival (p=0.005). However, coexposure to 32-nm TiO 2 and UVA had no statistical effect on X. laevis survival (p=0.8). For all three particle sizes, whether alone or with UV light, the nano-TiO 2 concentrations significantly affected growth of tadpoles as determined by total body length, snout-vent length, and developmental stage. High-concentration TiO 2 solutions suppressed tadpole body length and delayed developmental stages. Further research to explore reasons for the growth and mortality in tadpoles is still underway in our laboratory. Given the widespread application of nano-TiO 2, our results may be useful in the management of nano-TiO 2 released from industrial, municipal, and nonpoint sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-183
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Amphibian
  • Nanotoxicity
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Ultraviolet light


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