Hand-ground fullerene-nanodiamond composite for photosensitized water treatment and photodynamic cancer therapy

Hongshin Lee, Jung Seok Lee, Kyle J. Moor, Hyoung il Kim, Sang Ryoung Kim, Geondu Gim, Jaesang Lee, Hak Hyeon Kim, Tarek M. Fahmy, Jae Hong Kim, Changha Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The unique capability of fullerene (C60) to absorb light and generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) has been extensively studied for photosensitized water treatment and cancer therapy. Various material synthesis strategies have been proposed in parallel to overcome its intrinsic hydrophobicity and to enhance availability in water and physiological media. We present here a strikingly simple approach to make C60 available to these applications by hand-grinding dry C60 powder with nanodiamond (ND) using a mortar and pestle. The resulting ND-C60 composite was found to form a stable aqueous colloidal suspension and efficiently drive photosensitized production of ROS under visible light illumination. ND-C60 rapidly adsorbed and oxidized organic contaminants by photogenerated ROS. In the experiments for photodynamic cancer therapy, ND-C60 was internalized by cancer cells and induced cell apoptosis without noticeable toxicity. Treatment of tumor-bearing mice with ND-C60 and light irradiation resulted in tumor shrinkage and prolonged survival time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant (NRF-2017R1A2B3006827 and NRF-2016R1A6A3A11933788).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • Fullerene C
  • Nanodiamond
  • Singlet oxygen
  • Targeted cancer chemotherapy
  • Water purification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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