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Chem Biol. 2005 Oct;12(10):1127-35.

Cationic fullerenes are effective and selective antimicrobial photosensitizers.

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  • 1Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, 02114, USA.

Abstract

Fullerenes are soccer ball-shaped molecules composed of carbon atoms, and, when derivatized with functional groups, they become soluble and can act as photosensitizers. Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy combines a nontoxic photosensitizer with harmless visible light to generate reactive oxygen species that kill microbial cells. We have compared the antimicrobial activity of six functionalized C(60) compounds with one, two, or three hydrophilic or cationic groups in combination with white light against gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, and fungi. After a 10 min incubation, the bis- and tris-cationic fullerenes were highly active in killing all tested microbes (4-6 logs) under conditions in which mammalian cells were comparatively unharmed. These compounds performed significantly better than a widely used antimicrobial photosensitizer, toluidine blue O. The high selectivity and efficacy exhibited by these photosensitizers encourage further testing for antimicrobial applications.

PMID:
16242655
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3071678
Free PMC Article

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