(Functionalized) Fullerenes of Versatile Value

(Functionalized) Fullerenes of Versatile Value

Published on 13/10/2020

Iris Biotech presents (functionalized) fullerenes of different core size (C60 vs. C70) as versatile tools for multiple functionalization. Read more about their unique properties and fields of applications.

Fullerenes are subject of ongoing research as they possess unique geometrical shapes, as well as appealing photochemical, electrochemical and physical properties. In addition, they act as efficient radical scavenger and antioxidant, as well as nano carrier for gene and drug delivery. Thus, a wide variety of operations can be considered.

Amongst them, biological applications were promoted by the work of Friedman et al. in 1993, which showed that fullerene fits seamlessly the hydrophobic cavity of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 protease, thus inhibiting the access of substrates to the catalytic site of the enzyme. This discovery highlighted the great potential of fullerenes as anti-HIV-1 agents and their significance for further pharmaceutical and biomedical applications.

Many neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease are caused by the hyper-production of certain radical species. Fullerenes can react with superoxide (O2·-) and hydroxyl (·OH) radicals, which otherwise harm the structural integrity of e.g. proteins and DNA. Due to this “radical scavenging reactivity”, Fullerenes and especially their poly-hydroxylated fullerenol derivatives are classified as “radical sponges”.

At the same time, another application benefits of the opposite effect. Photodynamic therapy (PD) is a therapeutic technique for the treatment of multiple diseases, e.g. cancer. An inactive photosensitizer (PS) is excited leading to the local generation of cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS). As mentioned above, such radical species cause damage to various types of biomolecules and, most important, lead to the death of tumor cells. In this context, the photoirradiation of fullerenes to their triplet state leads to the production of singlet oxygen by the conversion of triplet oxygen in high quantum yields.

Besides their direct bioactivity, fullerenes can also serve as carbon-based nanocages for the targeted delivery of therapeutic molecules, e.g. for nucleic acid delivery, benefiting of their nonimmunological reactions. In addition, fullerene and its derivatives show high potential in crossing the blood-brain barrier and delivering drugs into the CNS.

Nevertheless, one major issue concerning biomedical applications remains the bad solubility of fullerene itself in aqueous solutions. The most promising classes of water-soluble derivatives are carboxylated or the already mentioned polyhydroxylated fullerenol derivatives, which are both part of Iris Biotech’s portfolio. Furthermore, the advertised C60 and C70 fullerenes react with nucleophiles, e.g. the amino groups of amino acids, which improves their solubility. The functionalization of fullerenes allows the easy generation of conjugates with other biomolecules, or PEGs and linkers, to fulfill your required demands.

➔ Looking for a derivative not listed in our Webshop? Please send us your inquiry!


  • Fullerene C60 with cytoprotective and cytotoxic potential: prospects as a novel treatment agent in Dermatology? A. Rondags, W. Yan Yuen, M. F. Jonkman, B. Horváth; Exp. Dermatol. 2017; 26 (3): 220-224. https://doi.org/10.1111/exd.13172.
  • Fullerene derivatives with amino acids, peptides and proteins: From synthesis to biomedical application; E. I. Pochkaeva, N. E. Podolsky, D. N. Zakusilo, A. V. Petrov, N. A. Charykov, T. D. Vlasov, A. V. Penkova, L. V. Vasina, I. V. Murin, V. V. Sharoyko, K. N. Semenov; Prog. Solid. State Ch. 2020; 57: 100255. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.progsolidstchem.2019.100255.
  • Fullerene-biomolecule conjugates and their biomedicinal applications; X. Yang, A. Ebrahimi, J. Li, Q. Cui; Int. J. Nanomed. 2014; 19: 77-92. http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S52829.
  • Fullerenes in biology and medicine; E. Castro, A. H. Garcia, G. Zavala, and L. Echegoyen; J. Mater. Chem. B. 2017; https://doi.org/10.1039/c7tb00855d.
  • Water-soluble fullerenes for medical applications; I. Raovi; Mater. Sci. Technol. 2016; 33: 777-794. https://doi.org/10.1080/02670836.2016.1198114.
  • Fullerenol Nanoparticles: Toxicity and Antioxidant Activity; R. Injac, M. Prijatelj and B. Strukelj; Oxidative Stress and Nanotechnology: Methods and Protocols. D. Armstrong and D. J. Bharali 2013: 75-100. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-62703-475-3_5.
  • Medicinal chemistry and pharmacological potential of fullerenes and carbon nanotubes; F. Cataldo and T. Da Ros; Springer Science & Business Media; 2008; 1.
  • Medicinal applications of fullerenes; R. Bakry, R. M. Vallant, M. Najam-ul-Haq, M. Rainer, Z. Szabo, C. W. Huck and G. K. Bonn; Int. J. Nanomedicine 2007; 2: 639-649.
  • Fullerene derivatives: an attractive fool for biological applications; S. Bosi, T. Da Ros, G. Spalluto, M. Prato; Eur. J. Med. Chem. 2003; 38: 913-923. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmech.2003.09.005.
  • Biological Applications of Fullerenes; A. W. Jensen, S. R. Wilson, D. I. Schuster; Bioorg. Med. Chem. 1996; 4: 767-779. https://doi.org/10.1016/0968.0896(96)00081-8.
  • Functionalized Fullerenes in Photodynamic Therapy; Y.-Y. Huang, S. K. Sharma, R. Yin, T. Agrawal, L. Y. Chiang, M. R. Hamblin; J. Biomed. Nanotechnol. 2014; 10: 1918-1936. https://doi.org/10.1166/jbn.2014.1963.
  • Carbon Nanotechnology; Chapter 7 – Functionalization and application of [60]fullerene; A. Mateo-Alonso, D. Bonifazi, M. Prato; https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-044451855-2/50010-3.
  • Fullerene-based delivery systems; H. Kazemzadeh, M. Mozafari; Drug Discov. Today 2019; 24: 898-905.
Related Products
    1. Structure image for Fullerene C60
      Fullerene C60

      Product code: FLL1000

      Starting at $202.50

    2. Fullerene C70
      Fullerene C70

      Product code: FLL1040

      Starting at $236.25

    3. Structure image for Fullerene C60 (PBM)2
      Fullerene C60 (PBM)2

      Product code: FLL1010

      Starting at $553.50

    4. Structure image for Fullerene C60 (PBM)
      Fullerene C60 (PBM)

      Product code: FLL1020

      Starting at $263.25

    5. Structure image for Fullerenol C60
      Fullerenol C60

      Product code: FLL1030

      Starting at $472.50

    6. Structure image for Fullerene C70 (PBM)2
      Fullerene C70 (PBM)2

      Product code: FLL1050

      Starting at $783.00

    7. Structure image for Fullerene C70 (PBM)
      Fullerene C70 (PBM)

      Product code: FLL1060

      Starting at $303.75

    8. Structure image for Fullerene C60 (malonic acid)n
      Fullerene C60 (malonic acid)n

      Product code: FLL1070

      Starting at $263.25

    9. Structure image for Fullerene C70 (malonic acid)n
      Fullerene C70 (malonic acid)n

      Product code: FLL1080

      Starting at $344.25

    10. Fullerenol C70
      Fullerenol C70

      Product code: FLL1090

      Starting at $573.75