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Journal of Toxicology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 270651, 7 pages
Research Article

Measurement of Redox Potential in Nanoecotoxicological Investigations

1Nanoanalysis Group, National Physical Laboratory, Hampton Road, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 0LW, UK
2Advanced Engineered Materials Group, National Physical Laboratory, Hampton Road, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 0LW, UK

Received 15 July 2011; Revised 7 September 2011; Accepted 8 September 2011

Academic Editor: Christian Gagnon

Copyright © 2012 Ratna Tantra et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Redox potential has been identified by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as one of the parameters that should be investigated for the testing of manufactured nanomaterials. There is still some ambiguity concerning this parameter, i.e., as to what and how to measure, particularly when in a nanoecotoxicological context. In this study the redox potentials of six nanomaterials (either zinc oxide (ZnO) or cerium oxide (CeO2)) dispersions were measured using an oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) electrode probe. The particles under testing differed in terms of their particle size and dispersion stability in deionised water and in various ecotox media. The ORP values of the various dispersions and how they fluctuate relative to each other are discussed. Results show that the ORP values are mainly governed by the type of liquid media employed, with little contributions from the nanoparticles. Seawater was shown to have reduced the ORP value, which was attributed to an increase in the concentration of reducing agents such as sulphites or the reduction of dissolved oxygen concentration. The lack of redox potential value contribution from the particles themselves is thought to be due to insufficient interaction of the particles at the Pt electrode of the ORP probe.