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27 March 2017, 07:50

Fullerenes Known As 'Buckyballs' Carbon Molecules Proved To Have Anti-HIV Activity

Fullerenes Known As 'Buckyballs' Carbon Molecules Proved To Have Anti-HIV Activity - picture 1

Compared with Tenofovir an anti-#HIV activity of this first water‐soluble fullerene is tantamount to the antiviral effect of the commercial antiretroviral drug.

A fullerene is a molecule of carbon in the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, tube, and many other shapes. Spherical fullerenes, also referred to as Buckminsterfullerenes (buckyballs), resemble the balls used in football (soccer). Fullerenes are similar in structure to graphite, which is composed of stacked graphene sheets of linked hexagonal rings.

The first fullerene molecule to be discovered, and the family's namesake, buckminsterfullerene (#C60), was manufactured in 1985 by Richard Smalley, Robert Curl, James Heath, Sean O'Brien, and Harold Kroto at Rice University.

A team of researchers from Russia has found a potent anti-HIV activity of the alkoxy fullerene derivative. This derivative is water‐soluble so possibly could be delivered orally if safe tests will be passed. In vitro study has shown that the fullerene derivative has low cytotoxicity a preliminary investigation of biological activity of the compound.

As the investigators say, "Further exploration of this family of fullerene derivatives might reveal new pharmaceutically interesting lead compounds".