Fullerenes are entirely insoluble in water, but suitable functionalization makes the molecules soluble. Studies on water-soluble fullerene derivatives led to the discovery of the interaction of organofullerenes with DNA, proteins, and living cells, which was first reported in the summer of 1993. Subsequent studies have revealed interesting biological activity aspects of organofullerenes owing to their photochemistry, radical quenching, and hydrophobicity to form one- to three-dimensional supramolecular complexes. In these areas of research, synthetic organic chemistry has played an important role in the creation of tailor-made molecules.
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