Bio-uptake of ENMs describes the transport of substances in nanoform across epithelial cells. Different routes of uptake of ENMs are possible:

•    via the skin (dermal uptake)
•    via the gut (from food)
•    via the respiratory system (e.g. gills, lungs)

•    via root system (from soil)
•    via uptake over the leaf surface (from atmosphere, rain or dust)
•    via stomata (from atmosphere, rain or dust)

Uptake patterns depend on the concentration of ENMs in the external media and also on concentrations internal to the organism. In NanoFASE, to analyze and predict uptake of ENMs by organisms we used Physiological Based Kinetic models (see van den Brink et al., 2019).


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Fate descriptors



Uptake rate constant: k1

\(C_{org} = C_{env} \ast k_{1}\ast SF\ast t + C_{env}\ast \frac{k_{1}}{k_{2}+k_{g}}\ast (1-e^{-(k_{2}+k_{g})\ast t})\ast (1-SF)\)


\(C_{org}\) - concentrations in the organism (\(\mu g/g\))

\(C_{env}\) - concentrations in the environmental compartment (\(\mu g/g\))

\(k_{1}\) - uptake rate constant (g \(\ast\) g-1 \(\ast\) day-1)

\(k_{2}\) - elimination rate constant (day-1)

\(k_{g}\) - growth dilution constant (day-1)

\(SF\) - stored fraction \(\small (0\leq SF\leq 1)\) (unitless)

\(\small t\) - total time of experiment (day)

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Read also


Visit the NanoFASE Library to read summaries of these reports :

NanoFASE Report D9.2 Loureiro et al. Parameter sets on uptake and toxicokinetics of selected pristine NMs in aquatic and terrestrial organisms

Ardestani M.M. et al. 2014. Uptake and elimination kinetics of metals in soil invertebrates: a review. Environ Poll 193, 277-295. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2014.06.026 

Baalousha, M. et al. 2016. Modeling nanomaterial fate and uptake in the environment: current knowledge and future trends. Environ Sci Nano 3, 323-345. DOI: 10.1039/c5en00207a

Cornelis, G. et al. 2014. Fate and Bioavailability of Engineered Nanoparticles in Soils: A Review. Crit Rev Environ Sci Technol 44, 2720–2764. DOI: 10.1080/10643389.2013.829767 

van den Brink N.W. et al. 2019. Tools and rules for modelling uptake and bioaccumulation of nanomaterials in invertebrate organisms. Environ Sci Nano 6, 1985-2001. DOI: 10.1039/C8EN01122B 




  Nico van den Brink

  Wageningen University


  Kees van Gestel

  Department of Ecological Science
  Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit