The application of a profluorescent nitroxide probe to detect reactive oxygen species derived from combustion-generated particulate matter

Miljevic, Branka (2010) The application of a profluorescent nitroxide probe to detect reactive oxygen species derived from combustion-generated particulate matter. PhD by Publication, Queensland University of Technology.


Particulate pollution has been widely recognised as an important risk factor to human health. In addition to increases in respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity associated with exposure to particulate matter (PM), WHO estimates that urban PM causes 0.8 million premature deaths globally and that 1.5 million people die prematurely from exposure to indoor smoke generated from the combustion of solid fuels. Despite the availability of a huge body of research, the underlying toxicological mechanisms by which particles induce adverse health effects are not yet entirely understood. Oxidative stress caused by generation of free radicals and related reactive oxygen species (ROS) at the sites of deposition has been proposed as a mechanism for many of the adverse health outcomes associated with exposure to PM. In addition to particle-induced generation of ROS in lung tissue cells, several recent studies have shown that particles may also contain ROS. As such, they present a direct cause of oxidative stress and related adverse health effects. Cellular responses to oxidative stress have been widely investigated using various cell exposure assays. However, for a rapid screening of the oxidative potential of PM, less time-consuming and less expensive, cell-free assays are needed. The main aim of this research project was to investigate the application of a novel profluorescent nitroxide probe, synthesised at QUT, as a rapid screening assay in assessing the oxidative potential of PM. Considering that this was the first time that a profluorescent nitroxide probe was applied in investigating the oxidative stress potential of PM, the proof of concept regarding the detection of PM–derived ROS by using such probes needed to be demonstrated and a sampling methodology needed to be developed. Sampling through an impinger containing profluorescent nitroxide solution was chosen as a means of particle collection as it allowed particles to react with the profluorescent nitroxide probe during sampling, avoiding in that way any possible chemical changes resulting from delays between the sampling and the analysis of the PM. Among several profluorescent nitroxide probes available at QUT, bis(phenylethynyl)anthracene-nitroxide (BPEAnit) was found to be the most suitable probe, mainly due to relatively long excitation and emission wavelengths (λex= 430 nm; λem= 485 and 513 nm). These wavelengths are long enough to avoid overlap with the background fluorescence coming from light absorbing compounds which may be present in PM (e.g. polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and their derivatives). Given that combustion, in general, is one of the major sources of ambient PM, this project aimed at getting an insight into the oxidative stress potential of combustion-generated PM, namely cigarette smoke, diesel exhaust and wood smoke PM. During the course of this research project, it was demonstrated that the BPEAnit probe based assay is sufficiently sensitive and robust enough to be applied as a rapid screening test for PM-derived ROS detection. Considering that for all three aerosol sources (i.e. cigarette smoke, diesel exhaust and wood smoke) the same assay was applied, the results presented in this thesis allow direct comparison of the oxidative potential measured for all three sources of PM. In summary, it was found that there was a substantial difference between the amounts of ROS per unit of PM mass (ROS concentration) for particles emitted by different combustion sources. For example, particles from cigarette smoke were found to have up to 80 times less ROS per unit of mass than particles produced during logwood combustion. For both diesel and wood combustion it has been demonstrated that the type of fuel significantly affects the oxidative potential of the particles emitted. Similarly, the operating conditions of the combustion source were also found to affect the oxidative potential of particulate emissions. Moreover, this project has demonstrated a strong link between semivolatile (i.e. organic) species and ROS and therefore, clearly highlights the importance of semivolatile species in particle-induced toxicity.

Impact and interest:

26 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

606 since deposited on 23 Dec 2010
20 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 39344
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD by Publication)
Supervisor: Ristovski, Zoran, Bottle, Steven, & Wille, Uta
Keywords: combustion aerosols, combustion-generated particulate matter, cigarette smoke, wood smoke, diesel exhaust, health aspects of aerosol, health effects of particulate matter, radicals, reactive oxygen species, ROS, oxidative stress, oxidative potential, inflammatory potential, in vitro, profuorescent nitroxides; BPEAnit; fluorescence, impinger, bubbling, collection efficiency
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 23 Dec 2010 04:39
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2017 14:41

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page