Neuroscience Professors Publish Research Article | St. Lawrence University Biology

Neuroscience Professors Publish Research Article

Dr. Ana Y. Estevez, Associate Professor of Biology and Psychology, and Sarah Johnson ’82 Professor in the Sciences, along with Dr. Joseph S. Erlichman, Professor of Biology, recently published a collaborative research article in the journal Biomolecules.

The article, “Antioxidant enzyme-mimetic activity and neuroprotective effects of cerium oxide nanoparticles stabilized with various ratios of citric acid and EDTA,” appears in a special issue of Biomolecules titled "Biological Effects of Cerium Dioxide (CeO2) Nanoparticles in Health and Disease” which was also guest-edited by Professor Erlichman. It includes as co-authors former St. Lawrence University students Yvonne O. Boateng ‘18, Jennifer M. Lipps ’12, and Sarah E.R. Yablonski ’19. Other co-authors include collaborators at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University.

Nanoparticles are materials defined by their small size; typically they fall within a range of 1-100 nanometers, where a nanometer is equivalent to a billionth of a meter. Although they have widespread use in manufacturing and engineering applications, the biological effects of nanoparticles have only recently begun to be explored. Specifically, cerium oxide nanoparticles, also known as nanoceria, have received a lot of research interest due to their potent antioxidant activity, which could potentially be harnessed for treating neurodegenerative conditions such as stroke. However, there have been mixed reports on the biological effects of nanoceria, with some studies reporting beneficial effects but others reporting toxic effects.

The study by Estevez and collaborators aimed to gain insight into the impact of the stabilizers used to coat the nanoceria on their biological effects. Specifically, the researchers systematically tested a series of cerium oxide nanoparticles generated using slightly different stabilizer combinations for both antioxidant and neuroprotective activity.  Their results show that cerium oxide nanoparticles stabilized with equal proportions of the organic acids citric acid and EDTA demonstrated the optimal combination of antioxidant activity and neuroprotection.  

Biomolecules is a peer-reviewed open access journal affiliated with the Spanish Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  It is ranked in the top 10% of biochemistry journals and the top 12% of molecular biology journals.

Antioxidant Enzyme-Mimetic Activity and Neuroprotective Effects of Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles Stabilized with Various Ratios of Citric Acid and EDTA