Antioxidant Properties of Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles

Mentors: Shirpour, Dziubla, K. Anderson

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) represent an important class of radical species generated in biological systems. High concentration of ROS can result in oxidation of DNA, protein and membrane lipids, which in turn leads to oxidative destruction of the cell and can cause serious diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, neurodegenerative disease and aging. Cerium oxide nanoparticles act as antioxidant and can effectively scavenge ROS and protect organs against damage.

A wide range of properties in cerium oxide nanoparticles are determined by the presence of structural point defects (e.g. oxygen vacancies).In particular, defect structure and formation of space charge layers right below the surface drastically affect the surface activity of cerium oxide. As part of Theme 1, undergraduate student will experience synthesis of oxide nanoparticles and learn about the major materials characterization techniques. For theme 2, the student will examine the reactivity and antioxidant capacity of surface-modified cerium oxide nanoparticles.