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Facile green synthesis of gelatin sodium alginate cerium oxide hydrogel nanocomposite and their photocatalytic and its biological applications

A. S. Stella Shalini, L. Shahanaz, P. Rajeswaran, R. Tamilarasan, S. Kumaran, and P. Siva Karthik

Department of Chemistry, St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Affiliated to Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, India



Received: 18 July 2023  Accepted: 18 December 2023


In this study, we harnessed the potential of a plant extract derived from Oldenlandia umbellata, a member of the Rubiaceae family, as a biological reducing agent to create cerium oxide nanoparticles from cerous nitrate hexahydrate. These cerium oxide nanoparticles, in turn, were incorporated into hydrogels composed of gelatin and sodium alginate, resulting in the formation of Gelatin–Sodium Alginate–Cerium Oxide (GSCeO2) nanocomposite hydrogels. UV–visible spectra displayed absorbance peaks at 340 nm and 361 nm for cerium oxide nanoparticles and GSCeO2 nanocomposites, respectively. Fourier-Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy was employed to differentiate between various functional groups present in the cerium oxide nanoparticles and GSCeO2 nanocomposites. X-ray Diffraction (XRD) investigations confirmed the face-centered cubic structure with a sharp peak at the (111) plane for both cerium oxide nanoparticles and GSCeO2 nanocomposites. Furthermore, XRD analysis provided the average particle sizes of 16.7 nm and 21.39 nm for 0.1 M cerium oxide nanoparticles and GSCeO2 nanocomposites, respectively. Energy-Dispersive X-ray Analysis confirmed the presence of essential elements in the nanoparticles and nanocomposites. The GSCeO2 nanocomposites exhibited excellent photocatalytic activity against methyl red dye under exposure to ultraviolet–visible light irradiation and demonstrated enhanced antioxidant properties. In vitro cytotoxicity assays conducted on MDA-MB 231 (human breast cancer cells) revealed an IC50 value of 28.69 µg/ml for GSCeO2 nanocomposites. Additionally, GSCeO2 nanocomposites displayed potent antifungal activity against Aspergillus flavus and Candida albicans.

Keywords: Gelatin; Sodium alginate; Hydrogels; Cytotoxicity

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-023-03297-y


Chemical Papers 78 (5) 3111–3123 (2024)

Thursday, May 23, 2024

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