Detect Free Radicals and Monitor Chronic Inflammation Without Adverse Side Effects

Technology #31999

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Conceptual diagram of the in vivo inflammation monitoring device
Manny Perez Figueroa, Ph.D.
Charalambos Kaittanis, Ph.D.
Atul Asati, Ph.D.
Santimukul Santra, Ph.D.
Patent Protection

Cerium-oxide nanoparticle based device for the detection of reactive oxygen species and monitoring of chronic inflammation

US Patent 8,795,733 B1

Cerium oxide nanoparticle-based device for the detection of reactive oxygen species and monitoring of chronic inflammation

US Patent 8,795,731 B1

UCF researchers have created a stable, effective, cerium oxide nanoparticle-based therapeutic device designed to treat patients with a broad range of ailments—including cancer chemotherapy, transplants or prosthetic devices, and ailments with a pro-inflammatory component, such as Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s—while causing no adverse side effects or toxicity.

While cerium oxide (nanoceria) can detect an excess of reactive oxygen species—also known as ROS or free radicals—that indicate areas and levels of inflammation, free-flowing nanoceria is toxic to the human body, a factor severely limiting its therapeutic use in the past. Now, a new therapeutic device encapsulates nanoceria in a way that retains its ability to detect ROS while providing an imaging component, to monitor levels of inflammation when treating patients with pro-inflammatory ailments. Because this therapy is classified as an implantable prosthetic, rather than a drug, its process for adoption and availability to patients is faster and simpler.

Technical Details

This new device, a nano-sized encapsulated unit comprised of two separate compartments, each externally permeable, contains nanoceria in one and a flourophore imaging agent in the other. Nanoceria, when in the presence of excess ROS, affects the flourophore by altering its level of fluorescence emission (increase or decrease in the signal measured via optical methods), altering its magnetic relaxation (increase or decrease in the signal assessed via MRI), or altering other properties such as X-ray contrast. The combined detection and imaging components provide a method for monitoring ROS levels indicating inflammation.


  • Widely effective
  • Non-toxic
  • Not subject to extensive drug testing and approval process


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer chemotherapy
  • Transplants or prosthetic devices
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Arthritis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Ulcerative colitis

Additional Technology Numbers: 32516