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Lost, but Found with Nile Red: A Novel Method for Detecting and Quantifying Small Microplastics (1 mm to 20 μm) in Environmental Samples

Overview of attention for article published in Environmental Science & Technology, November 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (98th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (96th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
18 news outlets
blogs
1 blog
twitter
27 tweeters
patent
2 patents

Citations

dimensions_citation
330 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
862 Mendeley
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Title
Lost, but Found with Nile Red: A Novel Method for Detecting and Quantifying Small Microplastics (1 mm to 20 μm) in Environmental Samples
Published in
Environmental Science & Technology, November 2017
DOI 10.1021/acs.est.7b04512
Pubmed ID
Authors

Gabriel Erni-Cassola, Matthew I. Gibson, Richard C. Thompson, Joseph A. Christie-Oleza

Abstract

Marine plastic debris is a global environmental problem. Surveys have shown that plastic particles <5 mm in size, known as microplastics, are significantly more abundant in surface seawater and on shorelines than larger plastic particles. Nevertheless, quantification of microplastics in the environment is hampered by a lack of adequate high throughput methods to distinguish and quantify smaller size fractions (<1 mm), and this has probably resulted in an underestimation of actual microplastic concentrations. Here we present a protocol that allows high throughput detection and automated quantification of small microplastic particles (20-1000 µm) using the dye Nile red, fluorescence microscopy and image analysis software. This protocol has proven highly effective in the quantification of small polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene and nylon 6 particles, which frequently occur in the water column. Our preliminary results from sea surface tows show a power-law increase of small microplastics (i.e. <1 mm) with decreasing particle size. Hence, our data helps to resolve speculation on the 'apparent' loss of this fraction from surface waters. We consider that this method presents a step change in the ability to detect small microplastics by substituting the subjectivity of human visual sorting with a sensitive and semi-automated procedure.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 27 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 862 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 862 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 161 19%
Student > Master 146 17%
Student > Bachelor 106 12%
Researcher 100 12%
Student > Doctoral Student 41 5%
Other 125 15%
Unknown 183 21%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Environmental Science 219 25%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 91 11%
Chemistry 86 10%
Engineering 60 7%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 37 4%
Other 118 14%
Unknown 251 29%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 168. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 10 September 2021.
All research outputs
#165,689
of 20,439,515 outputs
Outputs from Environmental Science & Technology
#242
of 17,640 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#4,713
of 334,574 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Environmental Science & Technology
#7
of 219 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 20,439,515 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 17,640 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 14.7. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 334,574 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 219 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its contemporaries.