Self-assembled albumin decorated MoS2 aggregates and photo-stimuli induced geometrical switching for enhanced theranostics applications
2D materials such as graphene oxide and molybdenum sulfide exhibit certain properties that have potential in diagnosing and treating cancer. However, their application is limited by low cellular uptake of the sheet-like structure. In this study, we present a facile route of converting MoS2 sheets into spherical aggregates which are then internalised easily by cells and then disassembled into sheets. Initially MoS2sheets are produced from bulk MoS2 by albumin assisted exfoliation followed by assembly of sheets into aggregates by desolvation technique. The MoS2 aggregates are easily taken up by cells when compared to sheets. Using near infrared laser, the aggregates can be disintegrated into sheets within the cells. Two processes happen in this step. First, the photothermal property of MoS2 aggregates can be used to kill cancerous cells. Secondly, on disintegration, the photoluminescence property of MoS2 sheets can be utilised to image cancer cells. The cytotoxicity, phototoxicity and apoptosis of HeLa cells is reported here. A facile method for increasing the uptake of 2D materials into cells has been demonstrated.