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Engineering of 2D Transition Metal Carbides and Nitrides MXenes for Cancer Therapeutics and Diagnostics


The 2D layered structured material with unique surface terminations and properties have showed great potential in variety of biomedical research fields including drug delivery and cancer therapeutics which forms the major focus of this review. MXenes as a multifunctional two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterial, has also received momentous research interest in oncology resulting from its intriguing structure and fascinating properties of magnetism and photodynamic properties such as luminescent, conductivity, magnetism, non-toxicity and its bio compatibility. This reported review intends to cover exclusively the synthesis and utilization of MXenes in oncological applications, and subsequently its future outlook in cancer therapeutic, diagnostic and theranostics. The versatile and unique physio-chemistry of MXenes permits fine tuning of its properties towards oncological applications ranging from the cancer therapeutic (e.g., photothermal therapy, photodynamic therapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy) to cancer imaging (e.g., CT/MRI/PA imaging) as well as cancer theranostic applications. We have started the discussion by portraying the broad picture of physio-chemical aspects of MXenes followed by its drug delivery functionalities. Subsequently, ROS mediated therapeutic strategies of photodynamic therapy and radiotherapy as well as light triggered functionalities of MXenes were detailed comprehensively. In the middle of the gallery, various imaging and sensing aspects of MXenes were elucidated. Finally, we have concluded by explaining the combined therapy and diagnostic functions (theranostics) of MXenes. To put it in perspective, the current challenges and new opportunities in MXenes also discussed will give great realistic insights to motivate further research in realizing MXene as an intelligent oncological tool.

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Supplementary files

Article information

29 Jan 2020
17 Mar 2020
First published
17 Mar 2020

J. Mater. Chem. B, 2020, Accepted Manuscript
Article type
Review Article

Engineering of 2D Transition Metal Carbides and Nitrides MXenes for Cancer Therapeutics and Diagnostics

A. Sundaram, J. S. Ponraj, C. Wang, W. K. Peng, M.Rajesh Kumar, S. C. Dhanabalan, H. Zhang and J. Gaspar, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2020, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/D0TB00251H

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