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Nano Lett. 2008 May;8(5):1539-43. doi: 10.1021/nl0726398. Epub 2008 Apr 15.

Antibacterial activity of fullerene water suspensions (nC60) is not due to ROS-mediated damage.

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  • 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, USA.


The cytotoxic and antibacterial properties of nC 60, a buckminsterfullerene water suspension, have been attributed to photocatalytically generated reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, in this work, neither ROS production nor ROS-mediated damage is found in nC 60-exposed bacteria. Furthermore, the colorimetric methods used to evaluate ROS production and damage are confounded by interactions between nC 60 and the reagents, yielding false positives. Instead, we propose that nC 60 exerts ROS-independent oxidative stress, thus reconciling conflicting results in the literature.

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