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Title: Gastropod (Otala lactea) shell nanomechanical and structural characterization as a biomonitoring tool for dermal and dietary exposure to a model metal

Metallic tungsten (W) was initially assumed to be environmentally benign and a green alternative to lead. However, subsequent investigations showed that fishing weights and munitions containing elemental W can fragment and oxidize into complex monomeric and polymeric tungstate (WO4) species in the environment; this led to increased solubility and mobility in soils and increased bioaccumulation potential in plant and animal tissues. Here we expand on the results of our previous research, which examined tungsten toxicity, bioaccumulation, and compartmentalization into organisms, and present in this research that the bioaccumulation of W was related to greater than 50% reduction in the mechanical properties of the snail (Otala lactea), based on depth-sensing nanoindentation. Synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence maps and X-ray diffraction measurements confirm the integration of W in newly formed layers of the shell matrix with the observed changes in shell biomechanical properties, mineralogical composition, and crystal orientation. With further development, this technology could be employed as a biomonitoring tool for historic metals contamination since unlike the more heavily studied bioaccumulation into soft tissue, shell tissue does not actively eliminate contaminants.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [4] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (United States)
  2. U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS (United States)
  3. Univ. of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez (Puerto Rico)
  4. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1229092
Report Number(s):
BNL--111167-2015-JA
Journal ID: ISSN 1751-6161
DOE Contract Number:
SC00112704
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials; Journal Volume: 53; Journal Issue: C
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE