Environmental Engineering Reference
Synthesis, Substitution and Modifi cation
The carbon allotrope C 60 , usually referred to as a 'buckyball', is geometrically
shaped as a truncated dodecahedron with a carbon atom sitting at each corner of the
polyhedron (Sayes et al. 2004 ). Synthesis of fullerenes (Grushko et al. 2007 )
involves the vapourisation of carbon fragments into an inert atmosphere in which
they combine and deposit to form fullerenes and other carbon-based compounds,
including CNTs. Another method involves the production of fullerene-containing
soot deposits through chemical vapour deposition. Fullerenes are known to be
essentially insoluble in water. However, their solubility can be increased (up to
2 mM) through appropriate coatings or by being suspended in colloidal solution.
Functional groups may be added to the fullerene in order to increase its water
solubility (Table 4 ). Hence, it is useful to consider the exposure of biological
molecules, such as DNA, to fullerenes in aqueous solutions.
The cytotoxic and photocytotoxic effects of two water-soluble fullerene deriva-
tives, a dendritic C (60) mono-adduct and the malonic acid C (60) tris-adduct were
tested (Rancan et al. 2002 ) on Jurkat cells. It was proposed that the two fullerene
derivatives may interact with the cell membrane in different ways. Tris-malonic acid
fullerene was found to be more phototoxic than the dendritic derivative.
Toxicology Comparison of Fullerenes With and Without
Pristine C 60 can cause membrane leakage. Qiao et al. ( 2007 ) also found that the
functionalization of C 60 dramatically lowered toxicity with no resultant membrane
leakage. It has been reported that attaching water solubilising groups such as
carboxyl or alcohol groups increase the solubility and reduce the toxicity of fullerene.
Table 4 Functional group addition and surface modifi cation for fullerenes (C60)
nitroniumborofl uoride and a carboxylic
acid followed by basic hydrolysis
Schneider et al.
( 1994 )
Sayes et al. ( 2004 )
Adding polymers, macromolecules
Kong et al. 2004 and
Nierengarten ( 2003 )
Hydroxyl, amino or carboxylic acid
functional groups to fullerene followed
by coupling to a protected amino
acid or peptide
Fulleryl amino acid and
Burley et al. ( 1999 )
cycloaddition of azomethineylides
Bianco et al. ( 1996 )