Water-soluble fullerenes using solubilizing agents, and their applications

  • Atsushi IkedaEmail author
Review Article


Host–guest and supramolecular chemistry can produce water-solubilization of fullerenes such as C60, C70, and C60/70 derivatives by hydrophobic interactions, CH–π interactions, and/or π–π interactions. For materials and biomedical applications, these water-soluble host–fullerene complexes must have the following important properties: (i) high solubility, (ii) high stability, and (iii) functionalization of the host–fullerene complex. These objectives can be achieved by selection of appropriate host molecules, development of novel solubilizing methods, and synthesis of functionalized host molecules. This review describes the introduction of a variety of host molecules that can solubilize fullerenes in water. In addition, we describe applications of host–fullerene complexes, in particular using photoinduced energy- and electron-transfer processes in water.


Cyclodextrin Calixarene Liposome Host–guest chemistry Fullerene Photosensitizer 



Block copolymer


BP micelle-incorporated C60


Cyclic voltammetry




Indium tin oxide


Lipid membrane-incorporated C x (x = 60 or 70)


Photodynamic therapy


Propidium iodide






Reactive oxygen species


Phase-transition temperature



The author thanks the organizing committee of the Host–Guest and Supramolecular Chemistry Society, Japan for giving him the HGCS Japan Award of Excellence 2012, and the opportunity to write this review. The author is grateful to all of the collaborators for their contributions. His work was financially supported by a Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (MEXT).

This is a paper selected for the ‘‘HGCS Japan Award of Excellence 2012’’.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Materials ScienceNara Institute of Science and TechnologyIkomaJapan

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