C60 Application today:
Since the ninety nineties, the processes induced by light in the supra molecular and multicomponent systems involving C60 molecules have been the subject of intense investigations. Such interest is due to the property that the C60 fullerene possesses of accepting electrons; In this way, if the C60 joins a molecule that gives these electrons when it is exposed to light, we can manufacture devices that mimic the photosynthetic processes that occur in plants and thus obtain solar cells.
The application of fullerene C60 in biological, pharmacological and medical areas has been very promising. For example, it has been observed that fullerene C60 is an effective scavenger of free radicals, so it can be used as a protective agent of cells or to reduce oxidative stress; In addition, when photo radiation, C60 fullerene can produce radicals, so it can also be used in photodynamic therapies.
Fullerenes can be potentially interesting systems for the controlled release of drugs. Because they can be multifunctional, they can act as “absorbers” of drugs to form nanoscale particles. An example of this is the fullerene derivative Methano-Phlerene, which, together with certain drugs against cancer, has demonstrated an important activity in tissue tissues and the slow and prolonged release of the drug. Another property of fullerenes is that these functionalizations allow manipulating the solubility of fullerene derivatives, so in principle we could direct the drug to a specific area of the body and then release it.
One of the medical applications of fullerenes is the antibacterial and antiviral activity that these molecules possess. The first reports of the antibacterial activity of the fullerene derivatives C60 was reported in 1996. The main mechanism of action of the fullerene when it is introduced into a bacterium is the rupture of the cellular membrane of this, due to the large volume of the sphere of C60, which seems not to fit a flat cell surface. In addition, since fullerenes have the peculiarity of reacting with oxygen, which they convert into hydrogen peroxide, they manage to inhibit the respiratory chain of the bacteria. But without a doubt one of the most important possible applications of fullerenes in the area
of medicine is the report published in 1993 by a group of scientists from the University of California at Los Angeles, where the possible inhibition of proteases of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) through the interaction of fullerene with the hydrophobic active site of the enzyme. The most recent studies with derivatives of fullerene pyrrolidinic salts reveal that good results have been obtained with CEM cells (cells derived from white blood cells) infected with HIV through a mechanism not yet identified.
Although many of the mechanisms of bacterial and viral inhibition are not fully understood, the use of fullerenes in medicine represents one of the most attractive, promising and promising research fields of the moment.