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In 1985 Kroto et al. discovered a new variant of carbon. Up until that point, the most commonly known allotropes included graphene/graphite, amorphous carbon and diamond. The newly discovered form, called Carbon 60 (C60), was actually a molecule having the shape of a soccer ball (60 carbon atoms at the vertices, 20 hexagonal and 12 pentagonal sides).

In 1996 these scientists were awarded the Nobel prize in chemistry for their discovery.

C60 was the first nanomolecule to be discovered and launched the nanomaterials industry. Nanomaterials/particles have unique physical and chemical properties that differ from their bulk counterparts. Mathematical theory can define many different spherical surfaces of differing shapes/sizes by simply adjusting the number and placement of hexagonal/pentagonal segments. These shapes are known as Fullerenes, having been named after the famous architect Richard Buckminster Fuller. A C60 molecule is commonly referred to as a buckyball and its discovery stimulated a lot of research into, and the subsequent discovery of, many other new Fullerene molecules.

In 2012, Baati et al., released a paper detailing a C60 in olive oil toxicity study. Most of the C60 research up until then had focused on non-oil based solutions and various derivatives of C60. Olive oil was used because it has a higher C60 solubility than most other oils. The key finding in this work was that, contrary to being toxic, the mixture almost doubled a rat's lifespan. They attributed this finding to the high antioxidant potential of C60.

In 2013, Chistyakov et al., suggested that an additional mechanism was likely in play to get the extended lifespan observed in the Baati study. The mechanism that they proposed is as follows. Within our cells one can find mitochondria organelles which are key to cellular level energy production (i.e, ATP generation). On the down side, though, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are also created. These are very destructive and damage local DNA, lipids and proteins. This damage is referred to as oxidation. When C60 in an olive oil solution is consumed, something very interesting occurs. The C60 (having a slight positive charge) will position itself within the mitochondria in a way that reduces the amount of ROS and resultant oxidative damage.

In 2016, the antioxidant potential of C60 was measured to be 172 times that of vitamin C. ref

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