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Research Article

Superoxide-like Cu/GO single-atom catalysts nanozyme with high specificity and activity for removing superoxide free radicals

Mingju Lu1,§Jialu Wang1,§Guoyuan Ren1Fengjuan Qin2Zhiqiang Zhao1Kai Li1Wenxing Chen2( )Yuqing Lin1( )
Department of Chemistry, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
Energy & Catalysis Center, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China

§ Mingju Lu and Jialu Wang contributed equally to this work.

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Graphical Abstract

Inspired by the structure of natural superoxide dismutase (SOD), we synthesized graphene oxide-supported Cu single-atom catalysts (Cu/GO SACs, GO = graphene oxide) through the simple and easy-to-operate ultrasound method at room temperature. The Cu/GO SACs exhibit excellent SOD-like enzyme performance, but do not possess the properties of other common redox enzymes, and show even higher catalytic ability by 31% than natural enzymes.


Although nanozyme has become an emerging area of research attracting extensive attention recently, the activity and specificity of currently reported nanozymes are generally lower than those of natural enzymes. Developing highly active and specific nanozymes is therefore extremely necessary and also remains a great challenge. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) catalyzes the disproportionation of cytotoxic O2·− into hydrogen peroxide and oxygen, and plays an important role in reducing human oxidative stress. In this work, we prepare Cu single-atom catalysts (Cu/GO SACs, GO = graphene oxide) through a simple and low-cost strategy at room temperature using Cu foam and graphene oxide. Cu/GO SACs can maintain excellent catalytic activity under harsh environment. Compared with the natural enzyme, SOD-like Cu/GO SAC nanozyme has higher catalytic activity and meanwhile, it does not possess the common properties of other mimic enzymes often existing in nanomaterials. Based on the excellent SOD-like enzyme activity of Cu/GO SACs, it successfully eliminates the active oxygen in cigarette smoke. This work not only provides a new idea for the design and synthesis of nanozymes with excellent SOD mimetic properties, but also is promising in the treatment of lung injury and inflammatory diseases related to free radical production.

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Nano Research
Pages 8804-8809
Cite this article:
Lu M, Wang J, Ren G, et al. Superoxide-like Cu/GO single-atom catalysts nanozyme with high specificity and activity for removing superoxide free radicals. Nano Research, 2022, 15(10): 8804-8809.






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Received: 23 March 2022
Revised: 30 April 2022
Accepted: 17 May 2022
Published: 26 July 2022
© Tsinghua University Press 2022