Uncovering biodegradability and biocompatibility of betaine-based deep eutectic systems

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Deep eutectic systems (DES) have shown increasing popularity in last decade; however, the number of studies on the potential toxicity towards living organisms remains scarce. These studies are of the utmost importance to infer on the claimed non-toxicity and biocompatibility of DES. Most articles published, at this moment, only evaluate the toxicity towards a cell model or in different strains of bacteria. For this purpose, in this work, the effect of two DES (betaine:sorbitol:water 1:1:3 and betaine:glycerol 1:2) and their individual components were evaluated at different concentrations after administered via intraperitoneal injection in zebrafish (Danio rerio). The total antioxidant capacity, lipoperoxidation, and the activity of various enzymes that work in different antioxidant pathways (superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, catalase, and glutathione S-transferase) were assessed. The results show no significant toxicity within the tested concentrations: up to 5000 µM and 3000 µM, for the assays using the system betaine:sorbitol:water 1:1:3 and for betaine:glycerol 1:2, respectively. The toxicity of individual components was studied up to 1000 µM. Based on the encouraging results that have been obtained, it is safe to conclude that these two deep eutectic systems can be used as the new class of environmentally friendly solvents. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40218-40229
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Cytotoxicity
  • Deep eutectic systems
  • Environmental toxicity
  • Green solvents


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