Faster Detection of Free Radicals

Technology #30949

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Cerium oxide coated electrode with electronic circuit
Sudipta Seal Ph.D.
Hyoung Cho, Ph.D.
Swanand Patil
Anjum Mehta
Managed By
Andrea Adkins
Assistant Director 407.823.0138
Patent Protection

Cerium oxide nanoparticle regenerative free radical sensor

US Patent 8,172,997 B2

A nanoceria based regenerative radical sensor for plasma testing, food quality control, or drug development

UCF researchers have developed an electrochemical sensor for the measurement of free radicals, or materials that generate free radicals, in solution. Ideal for biomedical, pharmaceutical, or sensor companies, this sensor has a long lifetime with the option of multiple uses. With an inexpensive manufacturing cost it provides the benefits of high sensitivity, making even a small amount of substance detectable. For example, it can detect small amounts of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), one of the main causes of age-related disease. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are among the most common and devastating age-related diseases. One in eight older Americans has Alzheimer’s disease, and it is the sixth leading cause of the death in the U.S. The pathology of Alzheimer’s disease is associated with oxidative stress and the free radical H2O2. By detecting Alzheimer’s early, a physician can present more effective treatment options to their patient and slow the progress of the disease.

Technical Details

Free radicals are highly reactive molecules having unpaired electrons in their outer electronic orbit, which attack the cellular bodies causing their dysfunction and eventually death of the cell. Previous techniques for the measurement of oxygen free radicals in blood were all limited to measuring oxygen free radicals from stimulated neutrophils or deproteinized whole blood. This new sensor only requires a test sample of plasma, which is divided into two equal portions and a hydrogen peroxide oxidation sensor is inserted into each portion. The electrochemical sensor, which can also be used to test other fluids, consists of an electrode with cerium oxide nanoparticle coating. The porous cerium oxide coating layer has thickness in the range of 40 nanometers to 1 micrometer. The electrode comprises an electronically conducting core material such as platinum. The sensor electrode is placed close to the solution to be analyzed and is electrically coupled to the counter electrode. The circuit connected to this solution amplifies and measures the electric current signal, which is generated by reduction or oxidation occurring at the working electrode.


  • Extends the life of the free radical probe
  • Faster detection
  • Higher sensitivity
  • Inexpensive to manufacture
  • In vivo sensing with minimal invasion


  • Study of programmed cell death in cell cultures and plants
  • Study of age-related diseases (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s)
  • Free radical pathogen drugs
  • Food quality control programs by providing a primary preventative function in free radical generation
  • Drug development to fight free radical pathogens

Additional Technology Numbers: 30948, 32958

See related technology: "Polycrystalline Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles" Technology Number 31874