Photodynamic therapy with fullerenes

Pawel Mroz, George P. Tegos, Hariprasad Gali, Tim Wharton, Tadeusz Sarna, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

222 Scopus citations


Fullerenes are a class of closed-cage nanomaterials made exclusively from carbon atoms. A great deal of attention has been focused on developing medical uses of these unique molecules especially when they are derivatized with functional groups to make them soluble and therefore able to interact with biological systems. Due to their extended π-conjugation they absorb visible light, have a high triplet yield and can generate reactive oxygen species upon illumination, suggesting a possible role of fullerenes in photodynamic therapy. Depending on the functional groups introduced into the molecule, fullerenes can effectively photoinactivate either or both pathogenic microbial cells and malignant cancer cells. The mechanism appears to involve superoxide anion as well as singlet oxygen, and under the right conditions fullerenes may have advantages over clinically applied photosensitizers for mediating photodynamic therapy of certain diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1139-1149
Number of pages11
JournalPhotochemical and Photobiological Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2007


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