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Reactive Oxygen Species Generated by Cold Atmospheric Plasmas in Aqueous Solution: Successful Electrochemical Monitoring in Situ under a High Voltage System

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journal contribution
posted on 07.06.2019, 00:00 by Fanny Girard-Sahun, Vasilica Badets, Pauline Lefrançois, Neso Sojic, Franck Clement, Stéphane Arbault
Many investigations are dedicated to the detection and quantification of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS), particularly when generated in liquids exposed to cold atmospheric plasmas (CAPs). CAPs are partially ionized gases that can be obtained by applying a high electric field to a gas. A challenge is to get better insights on the plasma–liquid interactions in order to understand the induced effects on different targets (liquid, cells, tissues, etc.). As RONS are biochemically reactive, the difficulty lies in finding efficient methods to get both dynamic and quantitative data. Herein, we developed an innovative setup aimed at performing an in situ electrochemical monitoring of redox species generated by CAPs in a physiological buffer (PBS, pH 7.4). The challenge was to apply millivolt-potential variations and measure nanoampere Faradaic currents in the presence of ionization waves generated by micropulsed electric fields of some 10 kV·cm–1 amplitude and ampere-transient currents. This was fulfilled by using dedicated working ultramicroelectrodes (Pt-black UMEs) and protecting them, as well as the reference and counter electrodes, within insulated-earthed containers. In this condition, we succeeded in performing both cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry in situ, with a resolution equivalent to working in a static solution (subnanoampere currents). Thus, we monitored the accumulation over time of species (H2O2, NO2) generated by CAPs in PBS and observed the mean dynamic of RONS chemistry during and after plasma exposition, particularly through the detection of a short-living species.