26 April 2013
Fullerenes are nanoparticles composed of carbon atoms arranged in a spherical hollow cage-like structure. Numerous studies have evaluated the therapeutic potential of fullerene derivates against oxidative stress-associated conditions, including the prevention or treatment of arthritis. On the other hand, fullerenes are not only able to quench, but also to generate harmful reactive oxygen species. The reactivity of fullerenes may change in time due to the oxidation and polymerization of fullerenes in an air atmosphere. In this study, we therefore tested the dependence between the age of fullerene films (from one week to one year) and the proliferation, viability and metabolic activity of human osteosarcoma cells (lines MG-63 and U-2 OS). We also monitored potential membrane and DNA damage and morphological changes of the cells. After seven days of cultivation, we did not observe any cytotoxic morphological changes, such as enlarged cells or cytosolic vacuole formation. Furthermore, there was no increased level of DNA damage. The increasing age of the fullerene films did not cause enhancement of cytotoxicity. On the contrary, it resulted in an improvement in the properties of these materials, which are more suitable for cell cultivation. Therefore, fullerene films could be considered as a promising material with potential use as a bioactive coating of cell carriers for bone tissue engineering.