Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Misuse of Sustainability Concept May Lead to Even More Toxic Chemical Materials

30.03.2015

Replacement of toxic chemical components by non-toxic natural analogs is a popular approach in sustainable projects. The study carried out at Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry (Moscow) has shown that partial replacement of chemical compounds by their natural analogs may surprisingly lead to even more toxic products.

The 21st century has presented us with a new scientific challenge - sustainable development. In a battle for sustainable world, humanity seeks to achieve such noble goals as creating a new generation of superior chemical technologies and materials with complete environmental compatibility.


Sustainability concept in chemistry involves replacement of toxic chemical components with bio-compatible analogs in attempt to produce environmentally friendly materials and technologies.

Copyright : Ananikov Laboratory (AnanikovLab.ru)

Chemistry belongs to the sciences for which the concept of non-toxic and waste-free production is of greatest importance. Principles of Green chemistry and Sustainability concept have largely influenced research and development in chemical sciences.

These principles include convenient degradability and minimized toxicity. It is a well-known fact that common chemicals are mainly based on toxic, bio-incompatible substances, which are dangerous for the environment. On the contrary, natural components are biocompatible and have no toxic effects.

Nowadays, chemists undertake numerous efforts to replace toxic substances with corresponding natural analogs, and fortunately, change of just one component sometimes does increase environmental compatibility and reduces harmful impact.

This approach has been used in attempt to create biocompatible ionic liquids. Ionic liquids, also called molten salts, liquid electrolytes, or ionic melts, are salts, which are liquid at temperatures below 100ºC. Spatial directionality and segregated nano-structuring found in ionic liquids provide them with unique properties, one of the most startling of which is the possibility of ‘fine-tuning’: each ionic liquid consists of cation and anion moieties, and by varying them, individually or together, certain properties of the IL can be changed.

Being nonvolatile and nonflammable substances, ionic liquids were believed to become a replacement to traditional volatile and flammable organic solvents, and have found application in such various fields of modern chemistry and technology as organic synthesis, catalysis, electrochemistry, nuclear fuel processing, and others. Originally, ionic liquids were considered as ‘green’ chemicals; however, their biological potential has quickly become evident. Now it is established that ionic liquids may affect life at all levels, from single biomolecules to whole ecosystems.

The study carried out by researchers from Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry evaluates the activity of a recently developed class of amino acid-containing ionic liquids towards cancerous and normal cell cultures. In agreement with the above mentioned sustainability considerations, it was taken for granted that introduction of a natural component (i.e. amino acid) into the ionic liquid would decrease its toxicity and lead to more environmentally friendly chemical derivative.

The researchers replaced the cation and anion in the common ionic liquid [BMIM][BF4] with the natural amino acid Valine to obtain two modified ionic liquids - [BMIM][Val] (bearing Valine as an anion) and [Val-OMe][BF4] (bearing valine as a cation). As one may expect, [BMIM][Val] turned out to be less toxic than the original compound [BMIM][BF4] (see Figure 1). However, [Val-OMe][BF4] demonstrated unexpectedly high toxicity. Surprisingly, replacement of a chemical component [BMIM]+ with a natural cation based on Valine gave noticeably more toxic ionic product.

The authors tested a series of common and amino acid-based ILs and showed that ionic liquids containing anions or cations based on the amino acids Glycine, Alanine, or Valine generally demonstrate cytotoxicity higher or comparable to that of conventional imidazolium-based ILs with inorganic or small organic anions (Figure 2). The authors observed increased toxicity for several ionic systems after incorporation of natural amino acid fragments.

A possible mechanism of action of such amino acid containing ionic liquids involves interactions with membrane transporter proteins employed by cells for amino acid intake. A harmless amino acid, being a part of ionic liquid, helps a biologically active/toxic moiety to enter the cell, where it causes apoptosis, or the programmed cell death. Although the original goal on making a non-toxic ionic liquid was not achieved, these findings suggest potential application of amino acid containing ionic liquids in biology and medicine for targeted drug delivery utilizing tunable properties of ionic liquids.

As Prof. Ananikov commented: "Toxicity and eco-activity of ionic liquids is now a well-addressed topic. As we recently reviewed, achieving superior chemical properties, as well as simultaneously holding environmental compatibility, is a very complicated, but unavoidable direction for task-specific optimization."

To summarize, replacement of toxic chemical components by non-toxic and biocompatible natural analogs is one of the most popular approaches in sustainable projects. The study carried out at Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow) has shown that partial replacement of chemical compounds by their natural analogs may surprisingly lead to even more toxic products. The article published in Toxicology Research describes increased toxicity of ionic liquids after incorporation of amino acid residues.


The toxicological study: "Unexpected increase of toxicity of amino acid-containing ionic liquids", by Egorova K. S., Seitkalieva M. M., Posvyatenko A. V., and Ananikov V. P. has been published in Toxicology Research (Royal Society of Chemistry).
Reference: Toxicol. Res., 2015, 4, 152-159, DOI: 10.1039/C4TX00079J
On-line link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C4TX00079J 

The review on task-specific optimization mentioned in the comment:
Egorova K. S., Ananikov V. P., "Toxicity of Ionic Liquids: Eco(cyto)activity as Complicated, but Unavoidable Parameter for Task-Specific Optimization", ChemSusChem, 2014, 7, 336-360. DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201300459; On-line link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cssc.201300459

Associated links
http://AnanikovLab.ru/
http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C4TX00079J

Ananikov Laboratory | ResearchSEA
Further information:
http://www.researchsea.com

Further reports about: Academy Toxicology acid amino acid biocompatible ionic ionic liquid ionic liquids liquids properties toxic toxicity

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Complementing conventional antibiotics
24.05.2018 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>