Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Chem Biol. 2005 Oct;12(10):1127-35.

Cationic fullerenes are effective and selective antimicrobial photosensitizers.

Author information

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


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk