Applications of Buckyballs

The fullerene family of carbon molecules possesses a range of unique properties. A fullerene nanotube has tensile strength about 20 times that of high-strength steel alloys, and a density half that of aluminum. So it is stronger than steel and lighter than aluminum.

Since the discovery of full-erenes, scientists have discovered some possible uses for these molecules. Some of these potential applications include being used in making computers, fuel cells, and sensors.

Major pharmaceutical companies are exploring the use of fullerenes in drugs to control the neurological damage of such diseases as Alzheimer's disease and Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS). Companies are also testing the use of fullerenes in drugs for atherosclerosis and for use in antiviral agents.

A group of medical researchers believe that fullerenes could be used in tiny special sponges that would soak up dangerous chemicals from any tissues in the brain that have been injured. The sponges would immobilize the dangerous chemicals that would, if left untreated, destroy the nerve cells.

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