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Recent advances in the field of transition metal chalcogenides for biomedical applications

Abstract

Nanosheets of transition metal dichalcogenide (TMDs), the graphene-like two-dimensional (2D) materials exhibit a unique combination of properties and have attracted enormous research interest for a wide range of applications including catalysis, functional electronics, solid lubrication, photovoltaics, energy materials and most recently in biomedical applications. Its potential in biosensors, drug delivery, multimodal imaging, antimicrobial agents and tissue engineering is being actively studied. However, the commercial translation of exfoliated TMDs has been limited due to the low aqueous solubility, non-uniformity, lack of control over the layer thickness, and the long-term colloidal stability of the exfoliated material. There is a wide interest in the synthesis and exfoliation of TMDs resulting in the reporting of increasing number of new methods and their biomedical applications. The unique physicochemical characteristic of the TMD nanosheets have been exploited to tether them with biological payload to achieve selective localized delivery in vivo. The large surface-to-volume ratio, good cytocompatibility, ease of surface modification, tunable bandgap, strong spin-orbit coupling, and high optical and thermal conversion efficiency of TMD nanosheets make them favorable over traditional nanomaterials for biomedical research. Moreover, the presence of abundant active edge sites on the 2D TMDs make them suitable for catalytic activities while the large surface area and interspace between layers is particularly congenial for ion or small molecule intercalation making them useful for energy storage application with rapid redox reaction capabilities. One of the major limitations of the exfoliated TMDs has been their limited colloidal stability in aqueous media. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in exfoliation and synthesis of single-layered TMDs, their biomedical efficacy in terms of cytotoxicity, combinatorial therapy and diagnostic imaging, as well as antimicrobial activity. We highlight the current challenges in the field and propose strategies for the future.

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 May 2018, accepted on 09 Aug 2018 and first published on 10 Aug 2018


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR04284E
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Recent advances in the field of transition metal chalcogenides for biomedical applications

    V. Agarwal and K. Chatterjee, Nanoscale, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8NR04284E

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