Nanoceria, Particle size and doping effect, Biosensor, Nanobiotechnology, Free radical scavenger


Cerium oxide has been used extensively for various applications over the past two decades. The use of cerium oxide nanoparticles is beneficial in present applications and can open avenues for future applications. The present study utilizes the microemulsion technique to synthesize uniformly distributed cerium oxide nanoparticles. The same technique was also used to synthesize cerium oxide nanoparticles doped with trivalent elements (La and Nd). The fundamental study of cerium oxide nanoparticles identified variations in properties as a function of particle size and also due to doping with trivalent elements (La and Nd). It was found that the lattice parameter of cerium oxide nanoparticles increases with decrease in particle size. Also Raman allowed mode shift to lower energies and the peak at 464 cm-1 becomes broader and asymmetric. The size dependent changes in cerium oxide were correlated to increase in oxygen vacancy concentration in the cerium oxide lattice. The doping of cerium oxide nanoparticles with trivalent elements introduces more oxygen vacancies and expands the cerium oxide lattice further (in addition to the lattice expansion due to the size effect). The lattice expansion is greater for La-doped cerium oxide nanoparticles compared to Nd-doping due to the larger ionic radius of La compared to Nd, the lattice expansion is directly proportional to the dopant concentration. The synthesized cerium oxide nanoparticles were used to develop an electrochemical biosensor of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The sensor was useful to detect H2O2 concentrations as low as 1µM in water. Also the preliminary testing of the sensor on tomato stem and leaf extracts indicated that the sensor can be used in practical applications such as plant physiological studies etc. The nanomolar concentrations of cerium oxide nanoparticles were also found to be useful in decreasing ROS (reactive oxygen species) mediated cellular damages in various in vitro cell cultures. Cerium oxide nanoparticles reduced the cellular damages to the normal breast epithelial cell line (CRL 8798) induced by X-rays and to the Keratinocyte cell line induced by UV irradiation. Cerium oxide nanoparticles were also found to be neuroprotective to adult rat spinal cord and retinal neurons. We propose that cerium oxide nanoparticles act as free radical scavenger (via redox reactions on its surface) to decrease the ROS induced cellular damages. Additionally, UV-visible spectroscopic studies indicated that cerium oxide nanoparticles possess auto-regenerative property by switching its oxidation state between Ce3+ and Ce4+. The auto-regenerative antioxidant property of these nanoparticles appears to be a key component in all the biological applications discussed in the present study.


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Graduation Date





Seal, Sudipta


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Materials Science and Engineering








Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)