Anti Oxidant Power: Cell Efficacy Tests that are Radically Innovative for the Assessment of Antioxidant Activity within Live Cells

30 November 2021

Ingredients derived from natural substances, plant extracts and pharmacopoeias represent a great potential for the discovery of new antioxidant compounds. Antioxidants, either topically or orally administrated, are an important field of research in dermatology and dermocosmetics. Oxidative agents released by cells are involved in a fundamental process of regulations to maintain skin health. These mediators have to be in balance with antioxidants, which can be endogenous or exogenous compounds. In contrast, an imbalance in favor of the oxidants, called oxidative stress (aging, pollution, UV radiation, chronic inflammation…) leads to cell damages.


Until recently, the antioxidant activity was only measured by electron or hydrogen atom transfers in cell-free assays that do not inform about the biological function exerted by the compounds within cells. Anti Oxidant Power (AOP), by providing a radically innovative approach, based on a patented technology, allows to assess intracellular antioxidant activity of compounds within living cells. Our approach, called light-up cell system (LUCS) involves a photoinduction system which generates intracellularly controlled and moderate ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) and free radical production.


The cell efficacy tests developed by AOP for the assessment of antioxidant activity of new compounds allow for the analysis of the cellular mechanism(s) of action, direct and indirect.

A dose-response study allows to determine for natural extracts, ingredients, or finished products, the efficacy concentrations (EC50, EC10, EC90), that can be compared with reference standard antioxidants. Using one single and unique bioassay, we can easily discriminate between antioxidant and cytotoxic effects.


By combination of several functional cell-based assays, AOP offers to analyze the mechanism of action, and to establish a complete antioxidant profile of new dermocosmetic compounds at the cell level:

  • AOP 1 test measures a direct intracellular antioxidant activity by neutralization of ROS/free radicals (intracellular scavenging activity);
  • AOP3/CAA test measures the ability to neutralize ROS/free radicals at the cell plasma membrane (inhibition of lipid peroxidations);
  • AOP CAT test measures a catalase-like activity (ability to neutralize H2O2);
  • AOP 2 test measures the “indirect” antioxidant effect or ability to activate the expression of genes involved in cytoprotection as a natural cell antioxidant system (ARE- Nrf2/Keap1 pathway).


Antioxidant cell efficacy tests developed by AOP provide measurements that are quantitative, accurate, highly reproducible, robust, compatible with a high throughput screening, and adaptable to many different human cell models (keratinocytes, melanocytes, fibroblasts, adipocytes, hepatocytes, neuron-like cells, monocytes, …). Signal is measured on fluorescence readers.


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And in recent publications in Antioxidants : and



PhD Cécile Dufour

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