C60 is a novel synthetic polymer, made from a mixture of polystyrene and hydrogen peroxide. Its inventors claim a number of benefits from its use as a medical material. These claims have been substantiated by recent studies. Here we review some of these benefits and their applications.
Most significantly, Fullerene C60 has the highest molecular weight of all known polymers. By enhancing the glue between cells, this polymer can be used to create stronger adhesives for artificial joints, such as those found in the human knee joint. As such, it might find applications in prosthetics, and the manufacture of artificial hips. However, this is still a very young field, and more study is needed to verify its therapeutic properties.
Because C60 molecules are made up entirely of carbon, it is also the lightest known polymer. This makes C60 ideal for use in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. It is approximately five times less dense than diamond, yet is about five times stronger tensile strength is greater than that of steel, and its stiffness is comparable to glass.
In addition, because C60 molecules are hollow, they are highly flexible. Due to its unique physical and chemical properties, C60 is highly useful in biomedical science and is being successfully used for tissue repair and replacement in human beings.
One of the more obvious benefits of using C60 is its ability to promote regeneration in damaged body tissues. Fibroblasts (stem cells found in bone marrow) respond very well to this agent. When the researchers injected cells from human cord blood into C60-treated animals, they found that more than ninety percent of the cells grew. This result was exciting, since it indicates that the substance can definitely generate new cells.
A second benefit of C60 is that it can help people lose weight. Since it can generate heat, the energy it releases to the surrounding environment can actually burn fat. The cells in the treated animals showed a remarkable ability to absorb fats and use them as energy. The research is hopeful that this new substance could be used in combination with other fat-burning compounds to help people achieve their weight loss goals.
The benefits of C60 go far beyond cell phone applications. Because C60 is non-toxic, it is widely used in the laboratory and for medical research. It is not toxic at room temperature, which means it can be added to a variety of environments. This non-hazardous material can be used to replace dead or dying cells in a variety of tissue cultures, and it can provide researchers with a way to grow healthy tissue.
In fact, due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, C60 has been shown to help arthritis patients treat their painful tissues. Because C60 is flexible enough to be used in cell culture dishes and is biodegradable, scientists have great hopes for using this natural material in the future.