Microchimica Acta

, 186:354 | Cite as

Colorimetric evaluation of the hydroxyl radical scavenging ability of antioxidants using carbon-confined CoOx as a highly active peroxidase mimic

  • Hongwei Song
  • Xin Li
  • Yanfang He
  • Yinxian PengEmail author
  • Jianming Pan
  • Xiangheng NiuEmail author
  • Hongli Zhao
  • Minbo LanEmail author
Original Paper


The authors present a colorimetric method for the evaluation of the hydroxyl radical scavenging capability of antioxidants by exploiting carbon-confined mixed cobalt oxide nanoparticles (denoted as C-confined CoOx NPs) as a novel peroxidase mimic. The nanozyme can be prepared from the metal-organic framework ZIF-67 by calcination at a moderate temperature. It exhibits peroxidase-mimicking activity and catalyzes the oxidation of colorless 3,3′,5,5′-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) to form a blue product in the presence of H2O2 via generation of hydroxyl radicals. However, in the presence of an antioxidant, the color reaction is suppressed due to scavenging of hydroxyl radicals by the antioxidant. Based on this principle, the hydroxy radical scavenging ability of glutathione (GSH), cysteine (Cys), tannic acid (TA) and tea polyphenols (TP) was assessed. It was found that these antioxidants can scavenge hydroxyl radicals in the following decreasing order: TA>Cys>GSH>TP. The assay was also used to quantify the antioxidative power of common fruit extracts.

Graphical abstract

Schematic presentation for evaluating the hydroxyl radical scavenging ability of different antioxidants using carbon-confined mixed cobalt oxide nanoparticles (denoted as C-confined CoOx NPs) as a highly active peroxidase mimic. With excellent activity, the C-confined CoOx NPs together with the visible peroxidase reaction can be employed as a powerful tool to rapidly screen appropriate antioxidants from natural samples and measure their activity for guiding their usage in related products.


Nanozyme Co-based materials ROS Colorimetric detection Hydroxyl radicals Antioxidant activity POx Fruit extracts 



The authors appreciated the supports from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21605061 and 31601549), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (No. BK20160489), the Open Fund from the Shanghai Key Laboratory of Functional Materials Chemistry (No. SKLFMC201601), the Open Fund from the State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor University, and the Postgraduate Research & Practice Innovation Program of Jiangsu Province (No. KYCX18_2341).

Compliance with ethical standards

The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

604_2019_3488_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.9 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1898 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental and Chemical EngineeringJiangsu University of Science and TechnologyZhenjiangChina
  2. 2.Institute of Green Chemistry and Chemical Technology, School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringJiangsu UniversityZhenjiangChina
  3. 3.Shanghai Key Laboratory of Functional Materials Chemistry, School of Chemistry and Molecular EngineeringEast China University of Science and TechnologyShanghaiChina

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