African Journal of Biotechnology

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Bioapplication and activity of fullerenol C60(OH)

I Rade, G Biljana, D Aleksandar, S Borut


Here we summarize current investigations about a relatively new group of compounds mainly composed of carbon atoms - fullerenes and their derivatives. One of the fundamental characteristics of fullerene is its ability to quench various free radicals, behaving as a ‘‘free radical sponge’’. Moreover, the dual nature of fullerenes to act as either quenchers or generators of cell - damaging ROS could be exploited for development of cytoprotective agents on one side or cytotoxic anticancer/antimicrobial agents on the other. In addition, several derivatives have shown immunomodulating, neuroprotective
and radioprotective effect. Fullerenes are hydrophobic molecules best dissolved in organic solvents, so potential biomedical applications are restricted by their extremely poor solubility in polar solvents. One
of the strategies for improving poor solubility is derivatization. Fullerenol C60(OH)24 is a water-soluble derivative of C60 with improved chemical properties and potential bioapplicability as a free radical scavenger in biological systems, in oxidative stress induced by xenobiotics or radioactive irradiations. However, solubility of C60(OH)24 in water (44 mg/l) is not satisfactory and presents a major drawback in its application as an organo-protector. Improvement of physicochemical characteristics of C60(OH)24 and chronic investigations on different animal models as well as in human trials are recommended for establishing its antioxidant effect.

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