Three-dimensional WS2 nanosheet networks for H2O2 produced for cell signaling
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is an important molecular messenger for cellular signal transduction. The capability of direct probing of H2O2 in complex biological systems can offer potential for elucidating its manifold roles in living systems. Here we report the fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) WS2 nanosheet networks with flower-like morphologies on a variety of conducting substrates. The semiconducting WS2 nanosheets with largely exposed edge sites on flexible carbon fibers enable abundant catalytically active sites, excellent charge transfer, and high permeability to chemicals and biomaterials. Thus, the 3D WS2-based nano-bio-interface exhibits a wide detection range, high sensitivity and rapid response time for H2O2, and is capable of visualizing endogenous H2O2 produced in living RAW 264.7 macrophage cells and neurons. First-principles calculations further demonstrate that the enhanced sensitivity of probing H2O2 is attributed to the efficient and spontaneous H2O2 adsorption on WS2 nanosheet edge sites. The combined features of 3D WS2 nanosheet networks suggest attractive new opportunities for exploring the physiological roles of reactive oxygen species like H2O2 in living systems.