UV and solar TiO(2) photocatalysis of brevetoxins (PbTxs)

Toxicon. 2010 May;55(5):1008-16. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2009.11.014. Epub 2009 Nov 24.


Karenia brevis, the harmful alga associated with red tide, produces brevetoxins (PbTxs). Exposure to these toxins can have a negative impact on marine wildlife and serious human health consequences. The elimination of PbTxs is critical to protect the marine environment and human health. TiO(2) photocatalysis under 350 nm and solar irradiation leads to significant degradation of PbTxs via first order kinetics. ELISA results demonstrate TiO(2) photocatalysis leads to a significant decrease in the bioactivity of PbTxs as a function of treatment time. Experiments conducted in the presence of synthetic seawater, humic material and a hydroxyl scavenger showed decreased degradation. PbTxs are highly hydrophobic and partition to organic microlayer on the ocean surface. Acetonitrile was employed to probe the influence of an organic media on the TiO(2) photocatalysis of PbTxs. Our results indicate TiO(2) photocatalysis may be applicable for the degradation of PbTxs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetonitriles / chemistry
  • Catalysis / radiation effects
  • Dinoflagellida / metabolism*
  • Free Radical Scavengers / chemistry
  • Harmful Algal Bloom*
  • Humic Substances
  • Marine Toxins / chemistry
  • Marine Toxins / radiation effects*
  • Neurotoxins / chemistry
  • Neurotoxins / radiation effects*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxocins / chemistry
  • Oxocins / radiation effects*
  • Photochemistry
  • Singlet Oxygen / chemistry
  • Sunlight
  • Titanium / chemistry*
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / chemistry
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / radiation effects*


  • Acetonitriles
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Humic Substances
  • Marine Toxins
  • Neurotoxins
  • Oxocins
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • titanium dioxide
  • Singlet Oxygen
  • brevetoxin
  • Titanium
  • acetonitrile