We investigated the toxicological effect of seven novel cholinium, guanidinium, and tetramethylguanidinium carboxylate ionic liquids (ILs) from an ecotoxicological point of view. The emphasis was on the potential structure-toxicity dependency of these surface-active ILs in aqueous environment. The median effective concentrations (EC50) were defined for each IL using Vibrio (Aliivibrio) fischeri marine bacteria. Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) liposomes were used as biomimetic lipid membranes to study the interactions between the surface-active ILs and the liposomes. The interactions were investigated by following the change in the DPPC phase transition behaviour using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Critical micelle concentrations for the ILs were determined to clarify the analysis of the toxicity and the interaction results. Increasing anion alkyl chain length increased the toxicity, whereas branching of the chain decreased the toxicity of the ILs. The toxicity of the ILs in this study was mainly determined by the surface-active anions, while cations induced a minor impact on the toxicity. In the DSC experiments the same trend was observed for all the studied anions, whereas the cations seemed to induce more variable impact on the phase transition behaviour. Toxicity measurements combined with liposome interaction studies can provide a valuable tool for assessing the mechanism of toxicity.
- Aliivibrio fischeri/drug effects
- Calorimetry, Differential Scanning
- Ionic Liquids/chemistry
- Phase Transition/drug effects
- Water Pollutants, Chemical/chemistry