Extraction method development for nanoplastics from oyster and fish tissues

Yu Shan Chang, Shih Hsuan Chou, Ya Jhu Jhang, Tai Sing Wu, Li Xin Lin, Yun Liang Soo, I. Lun Hsiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Nanoplastics are now found in some environmental media and consumer products. However, very limited data on nanoplastics are available for one of the main human consumption sources of microplastics: seafood. Unlike microplastics, a method for extracting nanoplastics from seafood is still lacking. Herein, a combination of common extraction techniques including enzymatic digestion, sequential membrane filtration, centrifugal concentration, and purification (dialysis and sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS) incubation), was developed to extract nanoplastics from oyster and fish tissues. Corolase with subsequent lipase treatment achieved the highest digestion efficiencies (88– 89%) for non-homogenized tissues compared to other proteases and additional cellulase or H2O2 treatment. With the exception of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), enzymatic digestion did not change the morphology or structure of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE), or polystyrene (PS) nanoplastic particles, and the subsequent extraction procedures had good recoveries of 71– 110% for fluorescence-labeled 76-nm PVC and 100- and 750-nm PS, as validated by a Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA). Few of the 1011 digested residual particles of 150– 300 nm in diameter per oyster or per serving of fish tissue were left in the method blank. Consequently, this efficient approach could be used as a pretreatment protocol for current potential nanoplastic detection methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number152675
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - Mar 25 2022


  • Enzymatic digestion
  • Nanoparticle tracking analysis
  • Nanoplastics
  • PVC
  • Recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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