Investigating the cytotoxic redox mechanism of PFOS within Hep G2 by hyperspectral-assisted scanning electrochemical microscopy†
Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is one of the most lethal per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Generally, exposure effects are studied through case-controlled studies, cohort studies, or cell assays. Unfortunately, most studies involving two-dimensional cell cultures require cell lysis or fixation. For in vitro studies, fluorescence microscopy has been useful, but methods to simultaneously discern phototoxic effects during an experiment are limited. Here, we use hepatocarcinoma (Hep G2) cells to examine the redox mechanism of PFOS cytotoxicity in vitro, while using hyperspectral-assisted scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) to differentiate between PFOS and redox mediator induced stress. Specifically, we correlate an increase in the electrochemical response of ferrocenemethanol oxidation with an increase in intracellular reactive oxygen species. Corresponding hyperspectral images of redox indicative-fluorophores implicate superoxide in the cytotoxic redox mechanism.