Compounds with antiviral activity are generally of great medical interest and different modes of pharmaceutical actions have been described. Replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can be suppressed by several antiviral compounds, which are effective in preventing or delaying the onset of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Fullerenes (C60) and their derivatives have potential antiviral activity, which has strong implications on the treatment of HIV-infection. The antiviral activity of fullerene derivatives is based on several biological properties including their unique molecular architecture and antioxidant activity.
Fullerenes have unusual redox chemistry and may be reversibly reduced by up to six electrons. These, along with the low toxicity detected so far in fullerenes, are sufficient to stimulate researchers in chemistry and in biology to unite their efforts and systematically investigate the biological properties of these fascinating molecules. A wave of research and development activities all over the world has led to large number of application-oriented patents, spanning a very broad range spectrum of potential commercial applications, including: anticancer anticancer drug delivery systems using photodynamic therapy, HIV drugs, and cosmetics to slow down the aging of human skin.