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Interdisciplinary Research Brought to School—Connecting Chemistry and Biology through Nanotechnology

    Authors: Lorenz Kampschulte1, Sevil Akaygün2, Emine Adadan2, Karsten Eilert1, Birgit Heyduck1,*
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    Affiliations: 1: IPN – Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, Kiel, Germany; 2: Bogazici University, Faculty of Education, Istanbul, Turkey
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. January 2018 vol. 19 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1400
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    Abstract:

    Nanoscience is a cutting edge and highly interdisciplinary field of research. The experiment presented here is a good example of bringing this interdisciplinary research to school by working with biological and chemical methods. Students first synthesize silver nanoparticles and then test them for their antimicrobial effect in a yeast culture. By observing the yeast growth and the nanosilver-induced suppression over 72 hours, students not only learn about nanoscience but also get an insight into research methods commonly used in the field of toxicology – which is highly relevant for the risk assessment of nanomaterials. Further, attention was given to develop a teaching unit that has close connections to real research, i.e. highlighting typical features of current research like interdisciplinarity, but also standard research procedures like multiple measurements and systematic test analysis to gain more reliable results. Detailed illustrated instructions for all parts of the experiment are included in the Appendix, as well as a brief background on nanosilver, an Excel sheet for the test evaluation and the description of a setup to take time-lapse videos of the experiment.

References & Citations

1. Nowack B, Krug HF, Height M 2011 120 years of nanosilver history: implications for policy makers Environ Sci Technol 45 1177 1183 10.1021/es103316q 21218770 http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es103316q
2. Muskin J, Wattnem J, Ragusa M, Hug B 2008 Real science or marketing hype: student-designed experiments test the antimicrobial effects of silver nanoparticles Sci Teach 75 4 57 61
3. Agnihotri S, Mukherji S 2014 Size-controlled silver nanoparticles synthesized over the range 5–100 nm using the same protocol and their antibacterial efficacy RSC Adv 4 8 3974 3983 10.1039/C3RA44507K http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C3RA44507K
4. Stamplecoskie KG, Scaiano JC, Tiwari VS, Anis H 2011 Optimal size of silver nanoparticles for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy J Phys Chem 115 5 1403 1409
5. Emmert EAB ASM Task Committee on Laboratory Biosafety 2012 ASM guidelines for biosafety in teaching laboratories Available from: www.asm.org/images/asm_biosafety_guidelines-FINAL.pdf. Retrieved October 13, 2017
6. Nuffield Foundation 2009 Aseptic techniques Available from: www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-biology/aseptictechniques. Retrieved October 13, 2017
7. Scharfenberg FJ, Marquardt AK 2015 Agar plates made from common supermarket substances and Bacillus subtilis Natto as an inexpensive approach to microbiology education J Microbiol Biol Educ 16 2 292 10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.942 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.942

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2018-01-26
2019-10-16

Abstract:

Nanoscience is a cutting edge and highly interdisciplinary field of research. The experiment presented here is a good example of bringing this interdisciplinary research to school by working with biological and chemical methods. Students first synthesize silver nanoparticles and then test them for their antimicrobial effect in a yeast culture. By observing the yeast growth and the nanosilver-induced suppression over 72 hours, students not only learn about nanoscience but also get an insight into research methods commonly used in the field of toxicology – which is highly relevant for the risk assessment of nanomaterials. Further, attention was given to develop a teaching unit that has close connections to real research, i.e. highlighting typical features of current research like interdisciplinarity, but also standard research procedures like multiple measurements and systematic test analysis to gain more reliable results. Detailed illustrated instructions for all parts of the experiment are included in the Appendix, as well as a brief background on nanosilver, an Excel sheet for the test evaluation and the description of a setup to take time-lapse videos of the experiment.

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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1

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FIGURE 1

Test of silver nanoparticles in a yeast culture, incubation time 72 hours. Clockwise from top right: 1) nanosilver sample I, 2) nanosilver sample II, 3) negative sample (sterile water), 4) positive sample (disinfectant). Freeze frame from video (https://youtu.be/eGVrm9Ge9Z8) taken with the setup described in Appendix 4 .

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. January 2018 vol. 19 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1400
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Image of FIGURE 2

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FIGURE 2

Size of the inhibiting zones after 36, 48, 60, and 73 hours incubation time (chart created using the Excel sheet in Appendix 3 ).

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. January 2018 vol. 19 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1400
Download as Powerpoint

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