Free radical analysis lab

University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
What the facility does

Biochemical studies of free radical detection and characterization. 

Areas of expertise

Our specialty is the detection and characterization of free radicals. Although we focus on how chemicals can cause free radical formation, free radicals are important in the food industry (i.e., beer shelf life, vegetable oil stability) and can be used to determine the effectiveness of antioxidants used either for industrial or potential human applications. In addition, past work using mustard gas analogs helped develop an understanding  of the chemical activation mechanism of these compounds, which are used in the military. Since free radicals are found in virtually all industries, our specialization can have widespread applications. As an example, we are helping one collaborator determine if low intensity pulsed ultrasound can generate free radicals (a potential treatment for cartilage growth); we are assisting another collaborator with data showing the membrane fluidity of cells harvested from mice or grown in cell culture. This can illuminate how various fats can penetrate cell membranes and lead to dysfunction.

Research services

Analytical services, data generation to demonstrate the amount of free radicals formed in a system, identification of what specific free radicals are being produced.  

Sectors of application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Chemical industries
  • Consumer non-durables
  • Defence and security industries
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment



Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectrometer

Used to detect and characterize free radicals