Mon, 18 Dec 2017

The Role of Buckminster Fullerenes in Preventing Allergy

Subashini Rajakannu1*, Pooja Chandrasekaran2, Banu saranya Arumugasamy2

1. Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, SSN College of Engineering, Kalavakkam, Chennai – 603 110, Tamil Nadu, India.

2. Department of Biomedical Engineering, SSN College of Engineering, Kalavakkam, Chennai – 603 110, Tamil Nadu, India.


ABSTRACT

Nanotechnology plays a major role in the medical field for treating various pathological conditions, but the field of nanoimmunology has not developed to full extent. This paper presents about the role of nanoparticle in treatment of allergy. Mast cells and peripheral blood basophils are the cells mainly responsible for allergy. When a foreign particle enters the body, the immune system is activated and they produce certain molecules (mostly immunoglobulins, IgE). Histamines are also produced by the mast cells which affect the local areas, thus, stimulating the production of immunoglobulins. This review explains how allergies can be cured by using buckminster fullerenes (buckyballs). The fullerene attaches with mast cells and basophils, and then inhibits activation of IgE receptor. However, the major disadvantage of using buckyballs is its toxicity. Fullerene molecules in water form oxygen free radicals which in turn react with the lipid molecules present in the cell membrane. The lipid molecules form free radicals which lead to rupture of cell membrane on interacting with water present outside the cell. But the toxicity can be reduced by surface modifications. Therefore the surface of buckyballs can be modified on reaction with 24 OH groups and 3 COOH groups to reduce toxicity. The COOH and OH side groups make the buckyball derivatives more water soluble. Therefore they are less likely to form clumps. The advantages of using fullerenes is that it does not have side effects that certain anti-allergic drugs have and is highly effective in reducing allergic responses.

Keywords: Allergy, Mast Cells, histamine, Buckminster Fullerene, Immunoglobulins.


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