Preparation and Phytotoxicity Evaluation of Cellulose Acetate Nanoparticles
The use of biocompatible and low-cost polymeric matrices to produce non-phytotoxic nanoparticles for delivery systems is a promising alternative for good practices in agriculture management and biotechnological applications. In this context, there is still a lack of studies devoted to producing low-cost polymeric nanoparticles that exhibit non-phytotoxic properties. Among the different polymeric matrices that can be used to produce low-cost nanoparticles, we can highlight the potential application of cellulose acetate, a natural biopolymer with biocompatible and biodegradable properties, which has already been used as fibers, membranes, and films in different agricultural and biotechnological applications. Here, we provided a simple and low-cost route to produce cellulose acetate nanoparticles (CA-NPs), by modified emulsification solvent evaporation technique, with a main diameter of around 200 nm and a spherical and smooth morphology for potential use as agrochemical nanocarriers. The non-phytotoxic properties of the produced cellulose acetate nanoparticles were proved by performing a plant toxic test by Allium cepa assay. The cytotoxicity and genotoxicity tests allowed us to evaluate the mitotic process, chromosomal abnormalities, inhibition/delay in root growth, and micronucleus induction. In summary, the results demonstrated that CA-NPs did not induce phytotoxic, cytotoxic, or genotoxic effects, and they did not promote changes in the root elongation, germination or in the mitotic, chromosomal aberration, and micronucleus indices. Consequently, the present findings indicated that CA-NPs can be potentially used as environmentally friendly nanoparticles.