Fullerenes were found in the year 1985 and they are the new allotropic type of carbon, or spherical molecules that have 20 or more carbon atoms that are well connected with one another by 3 chemical bonds. The scientific and the practical interest for studying fullerenes were demonstrated mainly in 1990, and after invention of this method allowing Fullerene production in lot.
Role Of Nature
This turns out that the fullerene molecules are considered very unique instruments of the scientific knowledge that can be used for resolving the old scientific issues from the new position. In fullerene C60 molecule, nature has united several opposite notions and properties.
Fullerene C60 is one link between the organic and the inorganic matter. It’s the molecule and particle at a same time. Diameter of C60 molecule is around 1 nm that corresponds to dispersion limit between its colloidal & “true” (molecular) substances state. Suppose we look within fullerene production, we can see only the void with diameter of 0.4nm and, over that, penetrated with the electromagnetic fields. For this reason, fullerene molecules are called vacuum bubbles, and for which the popular known theory that Nature abhors the vacuum is baseless.
Discovery of fullerenes
Before its discovery, molecular structures of a few proteins that resemble fullerene in a form were known already. These structures include a few viruses or other important biological structures. Correspondence of geometrical sizes of this fullerene C60 molecule & spherical clusters of the secondary structures of DNA molecule in the B-conformation is quite interesting.
Different Uses of Fullerenes:
The fullerenes have gained a lot of attention because of the potential as the antiviral agents. Maybe the exciting feature of this can be the ability to suppress replication of human immunodeficiency virus, and therefore, delay an onset of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Dendrofullerene 1 & Derivative 2, and trans isomer is seen to inhibit HIV protease, and, prevent the replication of HIV. Bivalent metal derivatives and amino acid derivatives, like C60, are seen to be very active against human cytomegalovirus replication and HIV.
Fullerenes will make best antioxidants, and this property will get attributed to the high number of the conjugated double bonds that they have and high electron affinity for these molecules (because of low energy of unoccupied molecular orbital). Also, fullerenes will react with many radicals before getting consumed.
Gene Delivery and Drug Delivery
Drug delivery is a proper transportation of the pharmaceutical compound on the site of action, while gene delivery is an introduction of the foreign DNA in cells for bringing desired effect.