A fullerene is any molecule composed entirely of carbon, in the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid or tube. Spherical fullerenes are also called buckyballs, and they resemble the balls used in football. Cylindrical ones are called carbon nanotubes. Fullerenes are similar in structure to graphite, which is composed of stacked graphene sheets of linked hexagonal rings; but they may also contain pentagonal (or sometimes heptagonal) rings.The discovery of fullerenes greatly expanded the number of known carbon allotropes, which until recently were limited to graphite, diamond, andamorphous carbon such as soot and charcoal.
Buckyballs and buckytubes have been the subject of intense research, both for their unique chemistry and for their technological applications, especially in materials science, electronics, and nanotechnology.The fullerene family, and especially C60, has appealing photo, electrochemical and physical properties, which can be exploited in various medical fields. Fullerene is able to fit inside the hydrophobic cavity of HIV proteases, inhibiting the access of substrates to the catalytic site of enzyme. It can be used as radical scavenger and antioxidant. At the same time, if exposed to light, fullerene can produce singlet oxygen in high quantum yields. This action, together with direct electron transfer from excited state of fullerene and DNA bases, can be used to cleave DNA. In addition, fullerenes have been used as a carrier for gene and drug delivery systems. Also they are used for serum protein profiling as MELDI material for biomarker discovery.
Cite this article:
Abhijit Ray. Fullerence (C60) Molecule – A Review. Asian J. Pharm. Res. 2(2): April-June 2012; Page 47-50.