Canadian Student Synthesizes Super-Charged Antioxidant Compound

Janelle Tam, a student from the Waterloo Collegiate Institute, has won the first prize in the 2012 Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada for her discovery of a disease-fighting, anti-oxidant compound utilizing nano-crystalline cellulose (NCC).

This novel super-charged compound paves the way to develop enhanced anti-aging and healthcare products by neutralizing most of the lethal free-radicals that cause damage to body cells. In her research, Janelle demonstrated the powerful antioxidant behavior of NCC for the first time. According to Tam, NCC is stable, water-soluble, harmless, and renewable as it derives from trees.

NCC is a lightweight material with high flexibility and durability and is stronger than steel. It holds potential in innumerable applications. Janelle informed that NCC is a hot research field in Canada.

To create the anti-oxidant compound, Janelle chemically paired a buckminster fullerene, a nanomaterial, with NCC. Janelle stated that these buckyballs have already been utilized in anti-aging and cosmetic products. This unique combination of NCC and buckyballs behaved like a 'nano-vacuum’ to extract and neutralize free radicals.

Janelle is excited about the results of the study. Cellulose has already been utilized as a stabilizer and filler in numerous vitamin products. With the help of NCC, She believes that these products may be used as super-charged free radical neutralizers in the future.

The first large-scale NCC manufacturing facility in the world was opened at a pulp and paper mill located in Windsor, Quebec, in January 2012. NCC is derived from cellulose utilizing a chemical process like the one utilized in pulp mills.


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G.P. Thomas

Written by

G.P. Thomas

Gary graduated from the University of Manchester with a first-class honours degree in Geochemistry and a Masters in Earth Sciences. After working in the Australian mining industry, Gary decided to hang up his geology boots and turn his hand to writing. When he isn't developing topical and informative content, Gary can usually be found playing his beloved guitar, or watching Aston Villa FC snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.


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