Date: 10 Dec 2020
Title: Water-Soluble Fullerene Derivatives for Biological Applications
The discovery of fullerene by Kroto and Smalley in 1985 has led to decades of research on using fullerene as a template for various applications, from energy to biomedical applications. Also, from a structural standpoint, the unique spherical-shaped structure consisting of only carbon atoms arranged in the form of pentagons and hexagons, sparked interest in understanding the reactivity of this molecule. Fourteen years later in 1999, Stevenson and Dorn reported a unique fullerene structure which hosted a metal cluster inside; this was the first report of the Trimetallic Nitride Template Endohedral Metallofullerenes (TNT-EMFs). In the Zhang lab, we work with both empty fullerenes and TNT-EMFs. Specifically, we are interested in the functionalization of these templates for a wide range of applications. My talk will focus on the biological aspect of our research, wherein I will illustrate examples from the literature of water-soluble fullerene derivatives for bio-applications and briefly introduce and show some key results of how we have synthesized several amphiphilic fullerene conjugates which can be possible candidates for delivering small molecules to cells.