Researchers develop a new housing system to study the effect of microplastics on fish
The study was developed by the researchers of the Comparative, Adaptive and Functional Skeletal Biology group of CCMAR and the Environmental Chemistry group of CIMA.
How to evaluate the toxic effect of microplastics on small fish without interfering with experiments
Microplastics pollution in aquatic ecosystems is a major concern for the environment and human health. Teleosts - fish with a bony skeleton - such as the zebrafish (Danio rerio) and Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes), are used as model organisms to assess the effects of microplastics on fish physiology. These studies require the use of inert materials (chemically stable) and controlled conditions. However, none of the available commercialized systems are appropriate for assessing the toxic effect of microplastics, as they contain components made of plastic polymers that may interfere with toxicological experiments. To solve this problem, researchers have recently designed and built a new stand-alone housing system, ZEB316, which allows studying and understanding the effects of microplastics on fish development.
The characteristics of the new housing system ZEB316
The new housing system developed by the researchers is made of inert materials, such as stainless steel 316 components and glass aquaria, that are resistant to corrosion. Two aquarium sizes are available: 3.5 and 7.5 L to accommodate up to 18 and 38 adult fish, respectively. The system provides good housing conditions through efficient recirculation and filtration systems. The assessment of water parameters and fish growth showed that the ZEB316 provides housing conditions comparable to commercial housing systems.
The advantages that ZEB316 offers to the world of marine science
The ZEB316 system was developed to offer the scientific community a cost-effective solution that is easy to build, and that allows other laboratories to conduct high-tech toxicological studies. Since is almost plastic-free, it will not release microplastics or retain pollutants into the system components, allowing a more reliable toxicological study.
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