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A highly effective and safe nanocrystal to combat dangers of radiation

wallpapers News 2020-12-19
Despite the wide application of radiation in diagnostics and treatments, there is still no magic material to protect people from radiation exposure. Though Amifostine is developed as a radioprotectant, FDA approved its application only for the protection of salivary glands. Also it requires repetitive injections to be effective and it can pose severe health threats of systemic toxicity and complications when applied to those under total body irradiation conditions. Researchers at the Center for Nanoparticle Research, within the Institute for Basic Science IBS, South Korea in collaboration with their colleagues at Seoul National University, School of Dentistry and Dental Research Institute, have reported a highly effective and safe nanocrystal to combat dangers doses of radiation Advanced Materials, "Epitaxially Strained CeO 2/Mn 3O 4 Nanocrystals as an Enhanced Antioxidant for Radioprotection". Figure 1. Schematic illustration of highly catalytic CeO 2/Mn 3O 4 nanocrystals preventing acute radiation syndrome. Image: IBS click on image to enlarge By growing manganese oxide Mn 3O 4 nanocrystals on top of the Cerium oxide CeO 2 nanocrystals, the research team boosted the catalytic activity of the CeO 2/Mn 3O 4 nanocrystals in their works to stave off side effects of deadly radiation. "Excessive reactive oxygen species ROS are found in a number of major diseases including sepsis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and Parkinson disease, just to name a few" says HYEON Taeghwan, director of the IBS Center for Nanoparticle Research Seoul National University Distinguished Professor. "A powerful antioxidant that can work at low doses only can ensure sustainable applications of radiation in medical, industrial and military settings and for more. This new CeO 2/Mn 3O 4 hetero-structured nanocrystals is five times stronger than when CeO 2 or Mn 3O 4 does their job alone" notes Director Hyeon. When our body is exposed to high levels of radiation, a massive amount of ROS are generated within milliseconds due to the decomposition of water molecules. These ROS severely damage cells, eventually leading to their death. The research team looked to CeO 2 and Mn 3O 4 nanoparticles for their outstanding ROS scavenging abilities. The challenge was how to apply these antioxidant nanomaterials in a safe and economic way: Though effective, CeO 2 and Mn 3O 4 nanoparticles can remove ROS only in high doses. They are also rare materials to obtain. The researchers drew on the approach usually taken in the field of catalysis: stacking nanoparticles with different lattice parameters results in surface strain and increases oxygen vacancies on the surface of the nanocrystal. Figure 2. a 3D illustration left, TEM and STEM images middle and top right, and the corresponding FFT pattern bottom right of CeO 2 and Mn 3O 4 nanocrystals. b Atomic resolution STEM images of CeO 2 and Mn 3O 4 nanocrystals. Image: IBS click on image to enlarge "Synergistic effect of the strain generated on Mn 3O 4 and the increased oxygen vacancy on the CeO 2 surface improved the surface binding affinity of the ROS, boosting the catalytic activity of the nanocrystals," HAN Sang Ihn, the first author of the study explains. "Strain engineering of nanocrystals, mainly studied in the field of catalysts, has now been extended to the medical field to protect cells from ROS-related diseases," says CHO Min Gee, the co-first author of the study. The research team checked the safety, as well as effectiveness of this new antioxidant nanocrystals. Molecular dynamics are analyzed using acute radiation model of human intestinal organoids. "Organoids pretreated with the CeO 2/Mn 3O 4 nanocrystals expressed more genes that were related to proliferation and maintenance of intestinal stem cells and fewer cell-death genes, compared with the no-pretreatment group," explains Sang-woo Lee, the first co-author of the study. In a mouse study, the CeO 2/Mn 3O 4 nanocrystals significantly increased the survival rate of the animals to 67% with only very small dose 1/360 of Amifostine injection dose and decreased the oxidative stress to internal organs, circulation, and bone marrow cells, without any significant signs of toxicity Figure 3. a H&E-stained femur sections 3 days after irradiation. b H&E staining of longitudinally sectioned duodena 5 days after irradiation. c Survival rates over 30 days after 13 Gy Total body irradiations. Image: IBS click on image to enlarge "To ensure a safe and wide application of a radioprotectant in the clinic, the key is to maintain high catalytic efficacy in low doses. This CeO 2/Mn 3O 4 nanocrystals proves its powerful antioxidant effects to protect our whole body effectively just in small doses," says PARK Kyungpyo, professor at Department of Dentistry, Seoul National University.
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