Nanoscale cerium dioxide (nanoceria) has industrial applications, capitalizing on its catalytic, abrasive, and energy storage properties. It auto-catalytically cycles between Ce3+ and Ce4+, giving it pro-and anti-oxidative properties. The latter mediates beneficial effects in models of diseases that have oxidative stress/inflammation components. Engineered nanoparticles become coated after body fluid exposure, creating a corona, which can greatly influence their fate and effects. Very little has been reported about nanoceria surface changes and biological effects after pulmonary or gastrointestinal fluid exposure. The study objective was to address the hypothesis that simulated biological fluid (SBF) exposure changes nanoceria’s surface properties and biological activity. This was investigated by measuring the physicochemical properties of nanoceria with a citric acid coating (size; morphology; crystal structure; surface elemental composition, charge, and functional groups; and weight) before and after exposure to simulated lung, gastric, and intestinal fluids. SBF-exposed nanoceria biological effect was assessed as A549 or Caco-2 cell resazurin metabolism and mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate. SBF exposure resulted in loss or overcoating of nanoceria’s surface citrate, greater nanoceria agglomeration, deposition of some SBF components on nanoceria’s surface, and small changes in its zeta potential. The engineered nanoceria and SBF-exposed nanoceria produced no statistically significant changes in cell viability or cellular oxygen consumption rates.

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Published in European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, v. 144.

© 2019 Elsevier B.V.

© 2019. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.

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This work was supported by the National Science Foundation REU Program #EEC-1460486 and the National Institutes of Health [grant number R01GM109195].