Laboratory evaluation of a microfluidic electrochemical sensor for aerosol oxidative load

Kirsten A. Koehler, Jeffrey Shapiro, Yupaporn Sameenoi, Charles Henry, John Volckens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Human exposure to particulate matter (PM) air pollution is associated with human morbidity and mortality. The mechanisms by which PM impacts human health are unresolved, but evidence suggests that PM intake leads to cellular oxidative stress through the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Therefore, reliable tools are needed for estimating the oxidant generating capacity, or oxidative load, of PM at high temporal resolution (minutes to hours). One of the most widely reported methods for assessing PM oxidative load is the dithiothreitol (DTT) assay. The traditional DTT assay utilizes filter-based PM collection in conjunction with chemical analysis to determine the oxidation rate of reduced DTT in solution with PM. However, the traditional DTT assay suffers from poor time resolution, loss of reactive species during sampling, and high limit of detection. Recently, a new DTT assay was developed that couples a particle-into-liquid-sampler with microfluidic-electrochemical detection. This "on-line" system allows high temporal resolution monitoring of PM reactivity with improved detection limits. This study reports on a laboratory comparison of the traditional and on-line DTT approaches. An urban dust sample was aerosolized in a laboratory test chamber at three atmospherically relevant concentrations. The on-line system gave a stronger correlation between DTT consumption rate and PM mass (R 2 = 0.69) than the traditional method (R 2 = 0.40) and increased precision at high temporal resolution, compared to the traditional method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-497
Number of pages9
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 4 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pollution


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