The nanoparticles bind free radicals better than antioxidants.

Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University and Luna Innovations found that buckyballs, a soccer ball-shaped nanoparticle, have the ability to block allergic response. Buckyballs, or fullerenes, are nanoparticles containing 60 carbon atoms.

The team modified the buckyballs so that they were compatible with water. This allowed the fullerenes to interrupt the allergy/immune response by preventing mast cells from releasing histamine. The scientists found that the structure of the buckyball enables it to bind to free radicals better than any antioxidant currently available.

The study appeared online in the June 19 issue of the Journal of Immunology and will appear in the July 1 print issue.

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