The short lifetime of superoxide and the low rates of formation expected in vivo make detection by standard continuous wave (CW) electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) challenging. The new rapid-scan EPR method offers improved sensitivity for these types of samples. In rapid-scan EPR, the magnetic field is scanned through resonance in a time that is short relative to electron spin relaxation times, and data are processed to obtain the absorption spectrum. To validate the application of rapid-scan EPR to spin trapping, superoxide was generated by the reaction of xanthine oxidase and hypoxanthine with rates of 0.1-6.0 μM/min and trapped with 5-tert-butoxycarbonyl-5-methyl-1-pyrroline-N- oxide (BMPO). Spin trapping with BMPO to form the BMPO-OOH adduct converts the very short-lived superoxide radical into a more stable spin adduct. There is good agreement between the hyperfine splitting parameters obtained for BMPO-OOH by CW and rapid-scan EPR. For the same signal acquisition time, the signal/noise ratio is >40 times higher for rapid-scan than for CW EPR. Rapid-scan EPR can detect superoxide produced by Enterococcus faecalis at rates that are too low for detection by CW EPR. © 2013 Biophysical Society.
Mitchell, D. G., Rosen, G. M., Tseitlin, M., Symmes, B., Eaton, S. S., & Eaton, G. R. (2013). Use of rapid-scan EPR to improve detection sensitivity for spin-trapped radicals. Biophysical Journal, 105(2), 338–342. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2013.06.005