Antimicrobial activity of fullerenes and their hydroxylated derivatives

Biocontrol Sci. 2009 Jun;14(2):69-72. doi: 10.4265/bio.14.69.


The antimicrobial activities of fullerene C60 and its derivatives against 6 kinds of bacteria and 2 kinds of fungi were evaluated. The tested samples were water-soluble fullerenes (polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)/C60, gamma-cyclodextrin (gamma-CD)/C60, and nano-C60) and 3 types of fullerenols (C60(OH)12, C60(OH)36.8H2O, and C60(OH)44.8H2O). Their activities were compared with those of (+)-catechin and hinokitiol from the viewpoint of future application to cosmetics. Although pristine C60 demonstrated no antimicrobial activity, fullerenols exhibited good antimicrobial activity against Propionibacterium acnes, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Candida albicans, and Malassezia furfur. In particular, C60(OH)44 exhibited a strong and wide-ranging antimicrobial activity comparable to that of catechin. This compound exhibits antimicrobial activity via inhibition of microbial cell growth and not via bactericidal activity.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacteria / growth & development
  • Catechin / pharmacology
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cosmetics
  • Fullerenes / chemistry
  • Fullerenes / pharmacology*
  • Fungi / drug effects
  • Fungi / growth & development
  • Hydroxylation
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Cosmetics
  • Fullerenes
  • Catechin