Fluorescent microscopy used to find plastic contanimation in water.
The worlds' ecosystems are polluted with plastic particles. The extent of this plastic contamination is still not fully captured. Little is known about the prevalence of very small plastic particles, with diameters smaller than 1 μm (nanoplastics), because these particles evade detection with commonly used techniques. Quantification of both the size and concentration of nanoplastics in water is required for risk assessment since decrease in size is suspected to increase nanoplastic toxicity. Nanobiophsycs presents an experimental strategy of low complexity to directly determine sizes and concentrations of nanoplastics in water samples without, or with limited, additional concentration steps. The sizes and concentrations that can be directly quantified using our strategy are in, or close to, the range expected in environmental samples.
We show that fluorescent micorscopy can be used to measure plastic nanoparticles in water and extrat the size distubution and oncentration of plastic particles. We demonstrate this on a single use plastic cup were beside tea, you consume ~100.000.000.000 plastic nanopartilces.
This research is published in Enviromental science: Nano. Nanoplastic sizes and numbers: quantification by single particle tracking