Effect of Mechanical Shaking on the Physicochemical Properties of Aqueous Solutions

Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Oct 28;21(21):8033. doi: 10.3390/ijms21218033.


Long-lived luminescence in the blue region was found to occur in deionized water saturated with atmospheric gases following mechanical shaking. Luminescence intensity decreased exponentially after the cessation of stress. During vigorous mechanical shaking, we observed gas bubbles in solution, and the liquid-gas interface area increased noticeably. At the same time, the concentration of molecular oxygen decreased, which could not be attributed to the water warming up with exposure to mechanical stress. However, deaerated water rapidly became saturated with gases following mechanical stress. The recommendation that cell culture media should be mixed after they are removed from the fridge in order to allow saturation with oxygen is probably misleading. It was shown that gases existed in water both in the form of individual molecules and nanobubbles. Mechanical stress did not influence the number or size of nanobubbles. While gas nanobubbles were absent in freshly prepared deaerated water, they appeared following exposure to mechanical stress. In addition, in mechanically treated gas-saturated water, there was seemingly an equilibrium shift towards the decomposition of carbonic acid to water and carbon dioxide. At the same time, the pH of water tended to increase immediately after mechanical stress. It was demonstrated that reactive oxygen species (ROS) form in gas-saturated water under mechanical stress (30 Hz, amplitude of 5 mm). The relative generation rate of hydrogen peroxide and of the hydroxyl radical was 1 nM/min and 0.5 nM/min, respectively. It was found that with an increase in the frequency of mechanical action (f), the rate of ROS generation increased in proportion to f 2. The major pathways for hydrogen peroxide generation are probably associated with the formation of singlet oxygen and its further reduction, and the alternative pathway is the formation of hydrogen peroxide as a result of hydroxyl radical recombination.

Keywords: long-lived luminescence; molecular oxygen; nanobubbles; reactive oxygen species; shaking; water.

MeSH terms

  • Hydrogen Peroxide / chemistry*
  • Hydroxyl Radical / chemistry*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / chemistry*
  • Singlet Oxygen / chemistry*
  • Stress, Mechanical*
  • Water / chemistry*


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Water
  • Singlet Oxygen
  • Hydroxyl Radical
  • Hydrogen Peroxide