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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 751913, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/751913
Review Article

Fullerenols as a New Therapeutic Approach in Nanomedicine

1Department of Molecular Biophysics, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Lodz, ul. Pomorska 141/143, 90-236 Lodz, Poland
2Department of Neurobiology, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Lodz, ul. Pomorska 141/143, 90-236 Lodz, Poland

Received 27 July 2013; Accepted 18 September 2013

Academic Editor: Antoni Camins

Copyright © 2013 Jacek Grebowski et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Recently, much attention has been paid to the bioactive properties of water-soluble fullerene derivatives: fullerenols, with emphasis on their pro- and antioxidative properties. Due to their hydrophilic properties and the ability to scavenge free radicals, fullerenols may, in the future, provide a serious alternative to the currently used pharmacological methods in chemotherapy, treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, and radiobiology. Some of the most widely used drugs in chemotherapy are anthracycline antibiotics. Anthracycline therapy, in spite of its effective antitumor activity, induces systemic oxidative stress, which interferes with the effectiveness of the treatment and results in serious side effects. Fullerenols may counteract the harmful effects of anthracyclines by scavenging free radicals and thereby improve the effects of chemotherapy. Additionally, due to the hollow spherical shape, fullerenols may be used as drug carriers. Moreover, because of the existence of the currently ineffective ways for neurodegenerative diseases treatment, alternative compounds, which could prevent the negative effects of oxidative stress in the brain, are still sought. In the search of alternative methods of treatment and diagnosis, today’s science is increasingly reaching for tools in the field of nanomedicine, for example, fullerenes and their water-soluble derivatives, which is addressed in the present paper.