Research Topic

The Role of Reactive Oxygen Species in Chemical and Biochemical Processes

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Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are defined as relatively short-lived molecules that contain oxygen atoms, showing half-lives (t1/2) in the range of nanoseconds to hours. They are produced as molecules, ions, and radicals in many chemical and biological processes, such as hydrogen peroxide ...

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are defined as relatively short-lived molecules that contain oxygen atoms, showing half-lives (t1/2) in the range of nanoseconds to hours. They are produced as molecules, ions, and radicals in many chemical and biological processes, such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), singlet oxygen (1O2), hydroxyl radical (•OH), hydroperoxyl radical (HOO•), superoxide radical (•O2), hypochlorite ion (ClO-), or peroxynitrite (ONOO). Depending on the specific type, ROS can play significantly different roles, participating in different chemical and biochemical processes, reacting with various target molecules. In biological processes, ROS are a natural by-product of oxygen metabolism and play an important role in cell-signal transduction and homeostasis. Also, under environmental pressure, a dramatic increase in ROS levels can cause oxidative stress, leading to cellular damage or various diseases, including neurological disorders, cardiovascular diseases, or different kinds of inflammation and cancer. At the same time, ROS play a key role in many chemical processes, among them Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOP) for environmental remediation, thanks to their high reactivity which favors their use for the decomposition of hazardous chemicals and pollutants.

Currently, there is growing interest in focusing on the role of ROS in many biological and (photo)chemical processes from a mechanistic point of view. Indeed, great attention has been directed at the identification, quantification, and kinetics evaluation of ROS in complex samples even in cells and in vivo, which appear decisive for most important issues in the chemical, biological, and medical fields. Many approaches have been developed for ROS detection. At the same time, the design of organic, inorganic, and hybrid organic/inorganic nanomaterials with redox-active properties has attracted scientific interest, with the aim to produce multifunctional nanomaterials for biological or (photo)chemical applications, for example as antioxidants (ROS-scavenging activity) or antimicrobials, catalysts, or for photodynamic therapy (ROS-generating activity). The possibility to realize bio-inspired and/or bio-sustainable redox nanomaterials represent a promising scenario for the development of biomedical and catalytic nanotechnology.

The aim of this Topic Research is to offer an opportunity for researchers to propose advances in:
 • the monitoring of ROS role in many biological and/or (photo)chemical processes
 • the design of multifunctional redox-active nanomaterials for biomedicine
 • the design of hybrid nanostructured materials for (photo)chemical applications, with tailored properties at the nano‐, meso‐, and macro‐scale
 • the understanding of chemical/molecular features of ROS involvement in the interaction of organic, inorganic, and hybrid organic-inorganic nanomaterials with biological environments

We welcome manuscripts for this Research Topic in the form of Original Research, Reviews and Mini-Reviews.


Keywords: reactive oxygen species, stress-oxidative activity, hybrid redox-active nanomaterials, biomedicine, photoactivity, advanced oxidation processes


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