C60 Fullerene Uses and Applications

by | Jun 23, 2023 | C60 Research

By <a href="https://www.sesres.com/author/rwong/" target="_self">Robert Wong</a>

By Robert Wong

Robert Wong is the co-owner of SES Research, alongside Christopher Burres. SES Research is located in Houston, TX.

The uses and applications of C60 fullerene are wide and growing every day. Though fullerene molecules were only discovered at the end of the last century, researchers quickly learned of the amazing potential these molecules possessed for health care and pharmaceutical advances. While research into C60 fullerene is ongoing, we can already report many benefits and thrilling uses for this molecule.

What Is C60 Fullerene?

A fullerene is a type of carbon molecule in which the carbon atoms are arranged in a shape like a hollow ball. This is known as a “buckyball” because the chemical structure makes them look like soccer balls, with each carbon connecting in a pentagonal pattern. C60 is the most common fullerene, named because it contains 60 carbon atoms joined by single and double bonds. Since its discovery in 1985, scientists have been researching the many uses and applications of this molecule.

The unique shape of C60 fullerene means the molecule is able to interact with the unpaired electrons that result in free radicals. As you may know, free radicals can cause damage in the human body known as oxidative stress. This alters important cell functions and can lead to many diseases in humans. Antioxidants in your diet or in supplements can help balance the free radicals in your body and prevent them from causing oxidative stress. C60 is chemically situated to do just that.

Health Care Applications

People take C60 for many reasons, including its antiaging and longevity properties, its anti-inflammatory abilities, and its assistance with muscle fatigue. This molecule has been shown to have antioxidant properties, which people associate with feeling better and leading a healthier lifestyle.

Anti Aging

healthy looking woman touching hand to face

One popular application of C60 is to the skin to prevent aging. Studies have investigated C60s’ ability to help with the appearance of wrinkles and block the effects of UV rays on the skin. Promising results indicate that applying oil containing C60 to the skin can help skin retain moisture and help with wrinkle prevention. Study participants saw improvements in these areas when compared with the placebo group.

An animal study found that fullerene and ascorbic acid used in combination had an effect of blocking some of the damage that UV-B rays can cause in skin. This is an exciting development that complements fullerene’s anti aging properties.

Musculoskeletal Issues

Studies on animals have examined whether treating inflammation, muscle fatigue, and arthritis with C60 helps alleviate these conditions. A study on rats indicated that C60 helped cut down on muscle recovery time after fatigue, and a different study on arthritic joint damage in rats showed a positive correlation between C60 application and reduced inflammation, which helped address joint damage. We’ve received reports that taking C60 helps with stamina, leading to increases in physical fitness.

Cognitive Function

Exciting  C60 research showed that applying C60 to rats inhibited a peptide linked with cognitive function problems. The rats did not show a decline in cognitive function due to that peptide because the C60 got in the way and allowed the rats to perform tasks without cognitive impairment. This indicates a stimulating new pathway for research into C60’s applications to cognitive function, especially in light of diseases that cause decline and impairment in this area.

Tumor Research

older man holding hands to head looking like he is in pain

Fullerenes are at the center of some exciting cancer research. Cancer cells replicate faster than normal cells because something has damaged their off-switch, the signal that other cells naturally have to self-destruct at the end of their life cycles. Killing off cancer cells is a major aim of cancer treatments like chemotherapy.

A goal of using C60 in tumor research is to alter the fullerene enough that cancer cells absorb a lot of it. Once that happens, the C60 molecules react to light radiation. The chemical process that occurs triggers cell death in the cancer cells. This research could have major applications for shrinking tumors. C60 has another benefit in its ability to interact with free radicals so they don’t damage other cells, so the C60 would do multiple jobs in a single application.

Pharmaceutical Applications

Fullerenes have myriad pharmaceutical applications due to their unique shape and chemical properties. Compounds can be attached to the outside of the fullerene ball, allowing it to interact or not interact with various other substances, like water and cell membranes. The pharmaceutical industry has found several cutting-edge applications for fullerenes, and continues to explore more.

Drug and Gene Delivery

The hollow ball of a fullerene means that they can be used to carry genes and drugs into the human body. Because of the way human cells are protected by membranes, safely delivering drug and gene therapy is an area of ongoing pharmaceutical research. Fullerenes can cross this cell membrane, bringing the necessary therapy directly to the cells.

Antiviral Uses

C60 Fullerene has antiviral applications when combined with other molecules that produce “side chains” on the ball shape. Amino acids attached to the side of a C60 fullerene can make the fullerene water-soluble, which may inhibit certain viruses from replicating. When fullerene is not water-soluble, it has the potential to inhibit enveloped viruses.


Fullerene molecules can attract molecules within the body and carry them to the liver where they’re metabolized very slowly. Thanks to this property, fullerenes can be used to diagnose the presence of certain elements, like metals, inside the human body. Similar applications can allow scientists to profile serum proteins, which give them additional clues to what’s happening within the human body. This field of study is evolving, so expect more diagnostic information from fullerenes in the coming years.

With so much health information floating around, it can be hard to know what new findings to pay attention to. C60 fullerene is at the center of considerable scientific investigation, and humans have already discovered many of the amazing properties of this molecule. Understand that research into C60 is ongoing, and that additional applications for this molecule will continue to become clear as researchers understand it better. We hope you’re tempted to try some yourself and receive the benefits of antiaging, antioxidants, energy increases, and more.