Super Sensitive Sensor for the Detection of Hydroxyl Free Radicals


Project ID: D2020-04

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are well known for their extreme reactivity. The impact of free radicals on medical and clinical fields is critical as hydroxyl radicals (OH) can be used as biomarkers for the detection of aging, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s diseases. Because certain types of free radicals are known to cause or exacerbate illnesses such as cancer, tumor, and neurodegenerative diseases, detection and identification of free radicals is important to diagnosing and treating the diseases. Current state of art for detecting free radicals include assay kits using colorimetric methods, metal oxidation methods, and electromagnetic spin resonance (ESR) or electro paramagnetic resonance (EPR), and these are inaccurate, inconsistent, time-consuming, or expensive. Thus, there is a need in a novel efficient composition and method with real-time detection for sensing or scavenging free radicals, such as hydroxyl radicals.

Invention Description:

Researchers at the University of Toledo have developed a highly sensitive sensor for the detection of hydroxyl free radicals based on the strong affinity of cerium oxide towards ROS. The invention incorporates a novel composition comprising of ultrasmall cerium oxide nanoparticles on a carbon-based substrate that improves the performance and sensitivity of the sensor. The probe in the sensor is designed to allow the sensor tip to contact the area to be measured without disturbances from surrounding non-specific solid materials. The sensor directly interacts with the area where the source of free radical generation is present.


Detection of hydroxyl free radicals.


  • Hand-held and real-time detection.
  • Detection of concentrations lower than 0.01 mM.
  • Improved conductivity of novel cerium oxide/carbon composition over current state of art with consistent and accurate detection.
  • The novel composition is better than known composition in detecting and scavenging hydroxyl free radicals.

IP status: Patent Pending

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Stephen Snider
AVP Tech Transfer
The University of Toledo
419 530 6225
Ana Alba Rubio
Dong Shik Kim
Surachet Duanghathaipornsuk
Cerium Oxide
Hydroxyl Free Radical
Reactive oxygen species