Since the time that fullerenes were discovered, there has been predicted their high biological activity. But conventional opinion about the high hydrophobicity of fullerenes directed the efforts of many scientists to the creation of their water-soluble derivatives or solubilised forms. Any changes in the outer carbon shell led to a disturbance of the electron structure and symmetry of fullerene molecule, which, in turn, alter the specificity of its interaction with the environment. Thus, the biological effect of artificially transformed (derivatised) fullerene molecules depends, to a large extent, on the nature of “sewn” radicals.  The majority of fullerene molecules’ individuality is manifested if it exists in an unmodified and unaggregated state (e.g. in the form of their molecular solutions in water).

 

We have succeeded in developing technology for obtaining molecular-colloidal solutions of fullerenes, where the main structural unit is fullerene molecule, surrounded by a symmetric net of water - C60@nH2O. At the same time, we proceed from established facts, which previously seemed nonsense for many scientists, in particular:
• - fullerene C60 is not an absolutely hydrophobic, nor an absolutely hydrophilic molecule;
• - fullerene C60 is able to interact actively with water;
• - fullerene C60 can be incorporated into water structures without disturbing its natural cluster structures.

 

The obtained fullerene water solutions are stable (for more than two years) and they have constant physical-chemical properties and composition. These solutions do not contain any toxic impurities. As well, fullerene is incorporated into natural multi-layer water structures, where the first layer of water is well-bound to the surface of fullerene due to donor-acceptor interactions between atoms of water oxygen and electron-acceptor centres on the surface of the fullerene molecule.

 

It is well known that water represents a system of free and ordered molecules. Some part of water, being in an ordered state, consists of so-called flickering polyhedral clusters, similar in their form to the structure of the truncated icosahedron (as is the case for a molecule of C60 fullerene). The lifetime of such clusters is very short and, according to different estimates, is 10-7 – 10-9 sec. Their concentration and lifetime depends, to a great extent, on the state of water, temperature, content of impurities, presence of magnetic fields, etc. Apparently, the biological activity of pure water directly depends on the content of the ordered structures present therein.


A group, headed by M. Chaplin (the School of Applied Science South Bank University, London SE1 0AA), carried out the molecular modelling of ordered water clusters and icosahedral water cluster with molecule C60 incorporated therein. As demonstrated by calculations, the fullerene molecule fits harmonically into the natural structure of the water cluster and does not contradict its structure. Moreover, now such a cluster no longer flickers. Its lifetime is not limited! The structure C60@nH2O is very stable and, even when heated in a confined space to the water boiling point, it does not break. Thus, the molecular solution of C60 in water is a system of ordered water clusters, where C60 acts as a stabiliser of natural, “native” spherical water clusters.

 

We have found that water close to the surface of fullerene melts at –2.8?C. It is an average melting point of bound water close to biological objects – DNA, proteins and enzymes, cell membranes, etc. Apparently, water structures close to the surface of fullerene are similar to water structures, surrounding the most important biological structures of a living organism.

 

 

The complex of such a large molecule with water also has significant buffer capacity. Close to its surface, the pH value is 7.2 –7.6. This is the same pH value near the membrane surfaces of most of the healthy cells of our organism. Many of the processes of cell’s “illness” are accompanied by altering the pH value close to the surface of its membrane. In this case, the ill cell creates uncomfortable conditions not only for itself, but also influences its neighbour cells in a negative manner. Hydrated fullerene, being close to the cell surface, is able to preserve its “healthy” pH value. In this way, it creates favourable conditions for the normal functioning of the cell, when it can manage its ailments by itself.