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June 29th, 2009
Sudipta Seal is enthralled by nanoparticles, particularly those of a rare earth metal called cerium. The particles are showing potential for a wide range of applications, from medicine to energy.
Seal is a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Central Florida (UCF), and several years ago he and his colleagues engineered nanoparticles of cerium oxide (CeO2), a material long used in ceramics, catalysts and fuel cells. The novel nanocrystalline form is non-toxic and biocompatible — ideal for medical applications.
Since then, the researchers found that cerium oxide nanoparticles have two additional medical benefits: they behave like an antioxidant, protecting cells from oxidative stress, and they can be fine tuned to potentially deliver medical treatments directly into cells.
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