We will be collaborating with the Mount Sinai Hospital to study the nanoplastics !

Nanoplastics are small pieces of plastics that measure less than 100 nm in size. They can be divided into two groups; the primary ones, which are manufactured specifically to be used as products; and the secondary ones, which derive from the deterioration of plastics of greater size.

Due to the slow degradation of the plastic polymers, the microplastics accumulate in the middle and end up being absorbed by living organisms, which causes them to accumulate in their tissues. While bioaccumulation in marine organisms has already been established, in humans the evidence is scarce, and it has not yet been determined. 

Detailed picture of seawater contaminated by microplastics (100nm – 5mm). (extracted from the website of the ICTA and the UAB).

Nanoplastics (less than 100nm in size) (image extracted from Wageningen University and Research)

Taking advantage of the fact that the BiSC project is underway, a pilot study will be carried out in order to determine the presence of nanoplastics in different biological samples: placenta, meconium and cord blood. This part of the study will be carried out in collaboration with research personnel at the Mount Sinai Hospital (New York, USA).

We leave you some links of interest to nanoplastics:

The text has been written by Mariona Bustamante, a researcher from the BiSC project.