Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Rice scientists create a super antioxidant: Common catalyst cerium oxide opens door to nanochemistry for medicine

Oleylamine (red dots) and oleac acid (blue) layers serve to protect a cerium oxide nanosphere that catalyzes reactive oxygen species by absorbing them and turning them into less-harmful molecules. The finding could help treat injuries, guard against radiation-induced side effects of cancer therapy and protect astronauts from space radiation.Credit: Colvin Group/Rice University
Oleylamine (red dots) and oleac acid (blue) layers serve to protect a cerium oxide nanosphere that catalyzes reactive oxygen species by absorbing them and turning them into less-harmful molecules. The finding could help treat injuries, guard against radiation-induced side effects of cancer therapy and protect astronauts from space radiation.

Credit: Colvin Group/Rice University

Abstract:
Scientists at Rice University are enhancing the natural antioxidant properties of an element found in a car's catalytic converter to make it useful for medical applications.

Rice scientists create a super antioxidant: Common catalyst cerium oxide opens door to nanochemistry for medicine

Houston, TX | Posted on October 15th, 2013

Rice chemist Vicki Colvin led a team that created small, uniform spheres of cerium oxide and gave them a thin coating of fatty oleic acid to make them biocompatible. The researchers say their discovery has the potential to help treat traumatic brain injury, cardiac arrest and Alzheimer's patients and can guard against radiation-induced side effects suffered by cancer patients.

Their nanoparticles also have potential to protect astronauts from long-term exposure to radiation in space and perhaps even slow the effects of aging, they reported.

The research appears this month in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano.

Cerium oxide nanocrystals have the ability to absorb and release oxygen ions — a chemical reaction known as reduction oxidation, or redox, for short. It's the same process that allows catalytic converters in cars to absorb and eliminate pollutants.

The particles made at Rice are small enough to be injected into the bloodstream when organs need protection from oxidation, particularly after traumatic injuries, when damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS) increase dramatically.

The cerium particles go to work immediately, absorbing ROS free radicals, and they continue to work over time as the particles revert to their initial state, a process that remains a mystery, she said. The oxygen species released in the process "won't be super reactive," she said.

Colvin said cerium oxide, a form of the rare earth metal cerium, remains relatively stable as it cycles between cerium oxide III and IV. In the first state, the nanoparticles have gaps in their surface that absorb oxygen ions like a sponge. When cerium oxide III is mixed with free radicals, it catalyzes a reaction that effectively defangs the ROS by capturing oxygen atoms and turning into cerium oxide IV. She said cerium oxide IV particles slowly release their captured oxygen and revert to cerium oxide III, and can break down free radicals again and again.

Colvin said the nanoparticles' tiny size makes them effective scavengers of oxygen.

"The smaller the particles, the more surface area they have available to capture free radicals," Colvin said. "A gram of these nanoparticles can have the surface area of a football field, and that provides a lot of space to absorb oxygen."

None of the cerium oxide particles made before Rice tackled the problem were stable enough to be used in biological settings, she said. "We created uniform particles whose surfaces are really well-defined, and we found a water-free production method to maximize the surface gaps available for oxygen scavenging."

Colvin said it's relatively simple to add a polymer coating to the 3.8-nanometer spheres. The coating is thin enough to let oxygen pass through to the particle, but robust enough to protect it through many cycles of ROS absorption.

In testing with hydrogen peroxide, a strong oxidizing agent, the researchers found their most effective cerium oxide III nanoparticles performed nine times better than a common antioxidant, Trolox, at first exposure, and held up well through 20 redox cycles.

"The next logical step for us is to do some passive targeting," Colvin said. "For that, we plan to attach antibodies to the surface of the nanoparticles so they will be attracted to particular cell types, and we will evaluate these modified particles in more realistic biological settings."

Colvin is most excited by the potential to help cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.

"Existing radioprotectants have to be given in incredibly high doses," she said. "They have their own side effects, and there are not a lot of great options."

She said a self-renewing antioxidant that can stay in place to protect organs would have clear benefits over toxic radioprotectants that must be eliminated from the body before they damage good tissue.

"Probably the neatest thing about this is that so much of nanomedicine has been about exploiting the magnetic and optical properties of nanomaterials, and we have great examples of that at Rice," Colvin said. "But the special properties of nanoparticles have rarely been leveraged in medical applications.

"What I like about this work is that it opens a part of nanochemistry — namely catalysis — to the medical world. Cerium III and IV are electron shuttles that have broad applications if we can make the chemistry accessible in a biological setting.

"And of all things, this humble material comes from a catalytic converter," she said.

Co-authors of the paper are Rice graduate students Seung Soo Lee, Wensi Song, Min Jung Cho and Hema Puppala; Rice alumna Phuc Nguyen; postdoctoral researcher Huiguang Zhu, and Laura Segatori, the T.N. Law Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and an assistant professor of biochemistry and cell biology. Colvin is vice provost for research at Rice and the Kenneth S. Pitzer-Schlumberger Professor of Chemistry and a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering.

####

About Rice University
Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to tinyurl.com/AboutRiceU.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
David Ruth
713-348-6327


Mike Williams
713-348-6728

Copyright © Rice University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Read the abstract at:

Colvin Group:

Segatori Group:

Related News Press

News and information

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Finding a new formula for concrete: Researchers look to bones and shells as blueprints for stronger, more durable concrete May 26th, 2016

Deep Space Industries and SFL selected to provide satellites for HawkEye 360’s Pathfinder mission: The privately-funded space-based global wireless signal monitoring system will be developed by Deep Space Industries and UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory May 26th, 2016

Chemistry

Syracuse University chemists add color to chemical reactions: Chemists in the College of Arts and Sciences have come up with an innovative new way to visualize and monitor chemical reactions in real time May 19th, 2016

Technique improves the efficacy of fuel cells: Research demonstrates a new phase transition from metal to ionic conductor May 18th, 2016

Physicists measure van der Waals forces of individual atoms for the first time May 14th, 2016

Atomic force microscope reveals molecular ghosts: Mapping molecules with atomic precision expands toolbox for designing new catalytic reactions May 11th, 2016

Nanomedicine

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Supercrystals with new architecture can enhance drug synthesis May 24th, 2016

Nanoscale Trojan horses treat inflammation May 24th, 2016

Tiny packages may pack powerful treatment for brain tumors: Nanocarrier provides efficient delivery of chemotherapeutic drug May 23rd, 2016

Discoveries

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

PETA science group publishes a review on pulmonary effects of nanomaterials: Archives of Toxicology publishes a review of scientific studies on fibrotic potential of nanomaterials May 26th, 2016

Harnessing solar and wind energy in one device could power the 'Internet of Things' May 26th, 2016

Announcements

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Finding a new formula for concrete: Researchers look to bones and shells as blueprints for stronger, more durable concrete May 26th, 2016

Deep Space Industries and SFL selected to provide satellites for HawkEye 360’s Pathfinder mission: The privately-funded space-based global wireless signal monitoring system will be developed by Deep Space Industries and UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory May 26th, 2016

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Thermal modification of wood and a complex study of its properties by magnetic resonance May 26th, 2016

Finding a new formula for concrete: Researchers look to bones and shells as blueprints for stronger, more durable concrete May 26th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic