The scavenging of reactive oxygen species and the potential for cell protection by functionalized fullerene materials

Jun Jie Yin, Fang Lao, Peter P. Fu, Wayne G. Wamer, Yuliang Zhao, Paul C. Wang, Yang Qiu, Baoyun Sun, Gengmei Xing, Jinquan Dong, Xing Jie Liang, Chunying Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

402 Scopus citations


We demonstrated that three different types of water-soluble fullerenes materials can intercept all of the major physiologically relevant ROS. C60(C(COOH)2)2, C60(OH)22, and Gd@C82(OH)22 can protect cells against H2O2-induced oxidative damage, stabilize the mitochondrial membrane potential and reduce intracellular ROS production with the following relative potencies: Gd@C82(OH)22 ≥ C60(OH)22 > C60(C(COOH)2)2. Consistent with their cytoprotective abilities, these derivatives can scavenge the stable 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryhydrazyl radical (DPPH), and the reactive oxygen species (ROS) superoxide radical anion (O2 {radical dot}-), singlet oxygen, and hydroxyl radical (HO{radical dot}), and can also efficiently inhibit lipid peroxidation in vitro. The observed differences in free radical-scavenging capabilities support the hypothesis that both chemical properties, such as surface chemistry induced differences in electron affinity, and physical properties, such as degree of aggregation, influence the biological and biomedical activities of functionalized fullerenes. This represents the first report that different types of fullerene derivatives can scavenge all physiologically relevant ROS. The role of oxidative stress and damage in the etiology and progression of many diseases suggests that these fullerene derivatives may be valuable in vivo cytoprotective and therapeutic agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-621
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Carboxyfullerene
  • Cytoprotection
  • Fullerenol
  • Gadolinium endohedral metallofullerenol
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Scavenging activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Biophysics


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