Research Topic

From Micro to Nanoplastics: Analytical Methods and Risks

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About this Research Topic

Plastic represents more than 80% of marine litter and causes extensive damage to marine ecosystems. If the production and use of plastic does not abate, UNEP estimates that by 2050 there will be more plastic by weight in the oceans than fish.

Microplastics are plastic particles less than 5 mm in ...

Plastic represents more than 80% of marine litter and causes extensive damage to marine ecosystems. If the production and use of plastic does not abate, UNEP estimates that by 2050 there will be more plastic by weight in the oceans than fish.

Microplastics are plastic particles less than 5 mm in size that are present in household products, such as exfoliators, and can also be formed due to the degradation of larger plastic particles. Nanoplastics are plastic particles less than 100 nm in size that are of particular concern, since they are likely to pass through biological membranes and affect the functioning of cells. Micro and nanoplastics can potentially be ingested by aquatic organisms, thus entering the food chain and posing a threat to environmental health. The quantification of micro(nano)plastics in environmental matrices is analytically challenging, and the lack of measuring standards contribute to the use of unrealistically high exposure concentrations in laboratory studies, which can lead to the manifestations of effects that are transient under natural conditions. Moreover, there are still environmental areas where research in micro(nano)plastics is in the beginning stages.

Therefore, we are pleased to launch this Research Topic and welcome researchers to contribute reviews and original research papers on the theme of micro(nano)plastics. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

 • New insights into micro(nano)plastics in different environmental compartments (water, soil/sediment, biota)
 • Development and standardization of analytical methodologies for detection (sampling, identification, and quantification of micro(nano)plastics)
 • Analytical methods for the characterization of micro(nano)plastics and their influence in ecotoxicological studies
 • Challenges in laboratory exposure and toxicity impact of micro(nano)plastics


Keywords: Microplastics, nanoplastics, analytical chemistry, ecotoxicology, environment


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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