Addressing Health Risks of POPs through Nutritional Modulation and Biomimetic Remediation

Sunday, 15 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Bradley J. Newsome, University of Kentucky Superfund Research Center, Lexington, KY
The focus of detailed research in proper nutrition has resulted in discoveries that extend beyond healthy living and diet-related chronic diseases and enter into the realms of risk assessment and remediation. One example of this is in the use of various bio-molecules and antioxidants (e.g. polyphenols, epicatechin in tea extract, etc.), which have been found to bind persistent environmental pollutants and modulate their toxicity. This binding affinity can be utilized for biomimetic approaches for the capture, detection and remediation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) using surface-functionalized magnetic nanoparticle-based technologies. Acrylated forms of quercetin (QMA) and curcumin (CDA), nutrient polyphenols with known affinity for organic pollutants, were surface functionalized onto magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) or polymerized in the presence of magnetic nanoparticles and cryomilled to micron sized particles (MNMs). These platforms allow for the specific binding of chlorinated organics from contaminated drinking water sources, the rapid magnetic separation of bound organics, and the thermal destabilization of the polymer matrix for contaminant release and material regeneration. Novel materials were characterized via TEM, DLS, FTIR, and TGA; chlorinated organic pollutant (i.e., PCBs) binding studies were performed to determine binding affinity and capacity, as well as optimal binding kinetics. GC MS/MS analysis demonstrated that functionalized MNPs effectively bind PCBs with the addition of QMA and CDA resulting in greater affinity, while three-fold increased pollutant binding was seen when MNMs were employed. An alternating magnetic field was used to heat and destabilize the PCB binding in the polymer matrix leading to pollutant release from the particles, and the percentage of uptake and release was determined. Repeated PCB binding/release was performed to determine MNM stability and reusability. This work provides a potential platform for rapid, non-toxic pollutant removal from contaminated water sources both near Superfund sites throughout the U.S. and in developing nations.