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A new method and tool for detection and quantification of PM oxidative potential

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Abstract

Airborne particulate matter (PM) contains several quinones, which are able to generate reactive oxygen species impacting on cell viability. A method able to detect and quantify PM oxidative potential, based on the cytochrome c (cyt-c) reduction by means of superoxide anion produced through quinones redox cycling in the presence of reducing agents, is here described. Tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine resulted to be the most efficient reducing agent among the ones tested. The procedure included rapid particles extraction, followed by two alternative analytical methods, a spectrophotometric assay based on the initial rate of cyt-c reduction at 550 nm, and an amperometric assay, based on self-assembled monolayers modified gold electrodes. The smallest amount of PM needed to obtain an evaluable signal is 2 μg. The described procedure may represent a starting point to develop devices for PM measurements in polluted atmospheric environments.

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Acknowledgments

This research has been supported by a grant of Lombardy Region to M.C. for the project Smeller. We thank Dr. Costanza Ronchi for technical assistance in performing screen-printed electrode modifications.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest.

Funding source

This research has been supported by a grant of Lombardy Region to M.C. for the project Smeller.

Human and animal rights and informed consent

No human subjects or animals have been used for this research.

Author information

Correspondence to Maurizio Gualtieri.

Additional information

Responsible editor: Gerhard Lammel

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Ciriello, F., Gualtieri, M., Longhin, E. et al. A new method and tool for detection and quantification of PM oxidative potential. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22, 12469–12478 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-4551-2

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Keywords

  • Particulate matter
  • Redox cycling
  • Cytochrome c
  • TCEP
  • Gold electrode