Brandon Clark; other authors: Arushi Rai, Soubantika Palchoudahry, Madhuri Kango-Singh


Presentation: 1:15-2:30 p.m., Kennedy Union Ballroom



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Nanoparticles are tiny (in the range of 5–100 nm) particles composed of inorganic (e.g., metals, oxide compounds, carbon-based nanotubes) and/or organic substances. They hold potential as small, biologically-compatible particles to which drugs and other chemicals could be attached. The eukaryotic model organism Drosophila melanogaster (aka the fruit fly) has a genome that is over 60% homologous to that of humans, with about 75% of human disease-causing genes having homologs in flies. With a brief generation time of only 12 days and high female fecundity (about 100 eggs per day), D. melanogaster is a convenient model to study development in the context of genetics and also effects of chemical exposure/toxicity on development. We are using this model organism to test nanoparticles and their biological effects on different stages of life and survival. For this study, gold (Au), iron oxide (Fe2O3), zinc oxide (ZnO), and poly-2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (pHEMA) were selected for testing in Canton-S fruit flies. Nanoparticle concentrations of 50 mg, 100 mg, and 200 mg were fed to first instar larvae by layering the nano-materials on the fly food to test for any toxic effects or changes in survival following ingestion or prolonged exposure in comparison to control flies. At all concentrations, there was no significant effect on the survival of nanoparticle-fed larvae in comparison to the control (non-fed larvae). In the future, we will use a food dye to mark nanomaterials, and use immunohistochemistry and confocal imaging in the third instar larva stage to analyze the effects of nanoparticle exposure on several tissues, including the intestinal gut, salivary glands, and the fat body. We will also study whether larvae fed nanoparticles show developmental delays in comparison to control flies. Overall, this system provides a platform for testing toxicity in a simple whole-organism model system.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project 202310 BIO 300 P3

Primary Advisor

Madhuri Kango-Singh, Soubantika Palchoudhury

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Institutional Learning Goals

Practical Wisdom; Scholarship

Using a <em>Drosophila melanogaster </em>Model to Study the Effects of Nanoparticle Ingestion on Survival and Development