Catalytic properties and biomedical applications of cerium oxide nanoparticles

Carl D. Walkey, Soumen C. Das, Sudipta Seal, Joseph S. Erlichman, Karin L. Heckman, Lina Ghibelli, Enrico Traversa, James F. McGinnis, William Thomas Self

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

361 Scopus citations


Cerium oxide nanoparticles (nanoceria) have shown promise as catalytic antioxidants in the test tube, cell culture models and animal models of disease. However given the reactivity that is well established at the surface of these nanoparticles, the biological utilization of nanoceria as a therapeutic still poses many challenges. Moreover the form that these particles take in a biological environment, such as the changes that can occur due to a protein corona, are not well established. This review aims to summarize the existing literature on biological use of nanoceria, and to raise questions about what further study is needed to apply this interesting catalytic material to biomedical applications. These questions include: 1) How does preparation, exposure dose, route and experimental model influence the reported effects of nanoceria in animal studies? 2) What are the considerations to develop nanoceria as a therapeutic agent in regards to these parameters? 3) What biological targets of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are relevant to this targeting, and how do these properties also influence the safety of these nanomaterials?
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-53
Number of pages21
JournalEnviron. Sci.: Nano
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 10 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • General Environmental Science


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