Microplastics

Microplastics

Development of silicon nanomembrane analysis pipelines (SNAPs) to characterize microplastics

This project aims to develop well-chracterized commercial reference microplastics along with streamlined analytical workflows known as silicon nanomembrane analysis pipelines (SNAPs). SNAPS enable reference microplastics to be characterized, and allow isolation, detection, and analysis of environmental microplastics.

Organized by American Chemistry Council

Researchers / Institutional Affiliations

Co-principal Investigators

  • Dr. Samantha Romanick
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    University of Rochester
    River Campus
    Department of Biomedical Engineering
    (US)
  • Dr. James McGrath
    Professor
    University of Rochester
    River Campus
    Department of Biomedical Engineering
    (US)

Collaborators

  • Dr. Greg Madejski
    Nano Laboratory Engineer
    University of Rochester
    River Campus
    Department of Biomedical Engineering
    (Rochester, NY, US)
  • Dr. Alison Elder
    Professor
    University of Rochester Medical Center
    Department of Enviornmental Medicine
    (Rochester, NY, US)
  • Dr. Stavros Demos
    Distinguished Scientist
    University of Rochester
    Laboratory of Laster Energetics
    (Rochester, NY, US)
  • Nathan Eddingsaas
    Associate Professor of Chemistry
    Rochester Institute of Technology
    School of Chemistry and Materials Science
    (Rochester, NY, US)

Timeline

Project is expected to be completed by September 2024 with publication of findings to follow in late 2024 or early 2025.

Additional information

Microplastics are found in natural waters and in foods and drinks derived from these waters; microplastics are thus ingested and inhaled by humans and found in human tissues. Research on microplastics is challenging due to the labor-intensive protocols associated with isolating them from the environment and biological tissues, particularly at the size scales most relevant to human health (<20μm). Due to lack of well characterized commercial reference MPs, toxicity researchers often resort to commercially available polystyrene spheres, which are a poor model for the environmental microplastics that are most relevant to human health. As novel time-saving protocols, silicon nanomembrane analyses pipelines (SNAPs) are being used with reference and environmental microplastics. In these methods, raw samples are added to nanomembranes housed in filtration devices. The samples are serially processed here until ready for imaging or spectroscopic analysis. The SNAP protocols are reproducible and rigorous and will be used in future studies to characterize environmental microplastics.

The grant title for this project is, ‘Characterization of Highly Referenced Commercial Monodispersed Microplastics Test Materials.’

Professional Presentations

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Published Papers

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