Physico-chemical properties and toxicological effects on plant and algal models of carbon nanosheets from a nettle fibre clone

Syed Shaheen Shah, Mohammed Ameen Ahmed Qasem, Roberto Berni, Cecilia Del Casino, Giampiero Cai, Servane Contal, Irshad Ahmad, Khawar Sohail Siddiqui, Edoardo Gatti, Stefano Predieri, Jean Francois Hausman, Sébastien Cambier, Gea Guerriero, Md. Aziz

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Carbon nanosheets are two-dimensional nanostructured materials that have applications as energy storage devices, electrochemical sensors, sample supports, filtration membranes, thanks to their high porosity and surface area. Here, for the first time, carbon nanosheets have been prepared from the stems and leaves of a nettle fibre clone, by using a cheap and straight-forward procedure that can be easily scaled up. The nanomaterial shows interesting physical parameters, namely interconnectivity of pores, graphitization, surface area and pore width. These characteristics are similar to those described for the nanomaterials obtained from other fibre crops. However, the advantage of nettle over other plants is its fast growth and easy propagation of homogeneous material using stem cuttings. This last aspect guarantees homogeneity of the starting raw material, a feature that is sought-after to get a nanomaterial with homogeneous and reproducible properties. To evaluate the potential toxic effects if released in the environment, an assessment of the impact on plant reproduction performance and microalgal growth has been carried out by using tobacco pollen cells and the green microalga Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata. No inhibitory effects on pollen germination are recorded, while algal growth inhibition is observed at higher concentrations of leaf carbon nanosheets with lower graphitization degree.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6945
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


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