Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 4, 2011
Previous Article Next Article

Pharmacological potential of cerium oxide nanoparticles

Author affiliations


Nanotechnology promises a revolution in pharmacology to improve or create ex novo therapies. Cerium oxide nanoparticles (nanoceria), well-known as catalysts, possess an astonishing pharmacological potential due to their antioxidant properties, deriving from a fraction of Ce3+ ions present in CeO2. These defects, compensated by oxygen vacancies, are enriched at the surface and therefore in nanosized particles. Reactions involving redox cycles between the Ce3+ and Ce4+ oxidation states allow nanoceria to react catalytically with superoxide and hydrogen peroxide, mimicking the behavior of two key antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase and catalase, potentially abating all noxious intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) via a self-regenerating mechanism. Hence nanoceria, apparently well tolerated by the organism, might fight chronic inflammation and the pathologies associated with oxidative stress, which include cancer and neurodegeneration. Here we review the biological effects of nanoceria as they emerge from in vitro and in vivo studies, considering biocompatibility and the peculiar antioxidant mechanisms.

Graphical abstract: Pharmacological potential of cerium oxide nanoparticles

Back to tab navigation

Article information

17 Nov 2010
28 Dec 2010
First published
02 Mar 2011

Nanoscale, 2011,3, 1411-1420
Article type
Feature Article

Pharmacological potential of cerium oxide nanoparticles

I. Celardo, J. Z. Pedersen, E. Traversa and L. Ghibelli, Nanoscale, 2011, 3, 1411
DOI: 10.1039/C0NR00875C

Social activity

Search articles by author