Cerium oxide (ceria) has unique redox properties and is used in the treatment of medical disorders caused by the reactive oxygen intermediates (ROI) such as cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis and neurodegenerative species, where reactive oxygen species act by impairing the normal redox balance. The radical-scavenging role of ceria nanoparticles (nanoceria) as well as the autocatalytic ability of nanoceria to regenerate under various environmental conditions, have been established.
Nanoceria are well known superoxide scavengers. But the inherent superoxide scavenging ability has only been found in the nanoceria with sizes of less than 5 nm and with very limited shape diversity. Hence, researchers have proposed a strategy to improve the scavenging ability of these ceria nanoparticles sized at greater than 5 nm.
One of their nanoceria, having a size of > 5 nm, exhibited a negligible Ce3+/Ce4+ ratio and low superoxide dismutase (SOD) mimetic activity; and exerted an antioxidant effect much stronger than that expected in human bronchial epithelial cells. After co-culturing cells for 24 hours with these ceria nanoparticles, dose-dependent decreases in the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS)/oxidative stress and cell loss were observed. They claim that this method will make it possible to develop nanoceria-based superoxide-scavengers with long-acting activity and tailorable characteristics. This could help treat many diseases including atherosclerosis, diabetes and obesity.
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