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Exp Dermatol. 2017 Mar;26(3):220-224. doi: 10.1111/exd.13172. Epub 2017 Feb 2.

Fullerene C60 with cytoprotective and cytotoxic potential: prospects as a novel treatment agent in Dermatology?

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Department of Dermatology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands.


It is known that an excess amount of (oxygen) radicals in the skin can lead to (local cellular) oxidative stress. From one side, oxidative stress can contribute to the existence of various (inflammatory) skin diseases such as acne vulgaris and alopecia, as well as to accelerated photo-ageing of the skin. From the other side, oxidative stress could also be a wanted process for curing particular skin diseases, such as skin cancer and microbial skin infections. Therefore, novel treatment agents with the ability to scavenge or generate radicals can potentially be meaningful in the treatment of various skin diseases, especially for those diseases that have limited effective treatment options. This viewpoint essay will discuss the potential of fullerene C60 , i.e. buckminsterfullerene, derivatives as novel treatment agents in dermatology. Fullerene C60 is an all carbon molecule with a unique dual ability; fullerene C60 can act as a radical scavenger or as an oxygen radical generator. Hence, fullerene C60 derivatives offers most interesting prospects as a therapeutic protective or therapeutic toxic agent. Because of their extraordinary physicochemical properties and numerous chemical functionalization possibilities, chemists can design derivatives with a wide scope of unique properties. The experimental data, mostly from in vitro and in vivo animal studies, on the safety and therapeutic potential of fullerene C60 derivatives, in the field of dermatology will be discussed.


UVR protection; anticancer; antimicrobial; antioxidant; dermatology; fullerene C60; inflammatory skin diseases; photodynamic therapy; reactive oxygen species; topical drug

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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