Micro/nano plastic particle pollution

Distribution of plastic nano-particles in living cells is the key for the research on their environmental exposure, toxicity evaluation and toxicity mechanism. Macro-molecular crowding environment is the place where plastic nano-particles pollute and interact with living beings. It is also the key in controlling plastic nano-particle pollution. Based on their years of early research on macromolecular crowding environment, the applicants aims to explore the influence of macromolecular crowding environment on the distribution of plastic nano-particles in cells. The fluorescence correlation spectroscopy will be used to break the limit of traditional microscopy methods and to develop a three-dimensional, nano-scale method to detect the distribution of nano-particles in cells. The project aims to explore the influence of multiple factors, including the molecular mass of macromolecular crowders, the size of plastic nano-particles, the concentration of plastic nano-particles, and exposure time, on the physical and chemical characteristics of nano-particles. And then the project will further study how the characteristics jointly influence the distribution of nano-particles in cells. The project will reveal the mechanism how macromolecular crowding environment affects the distribution of plastic nano-particles, providing basic research data for controlling plastic nano-particle pollution. Meanwhile, the research will also provide an important method for distribution research in cells on other pollutant nano-particles.