Biomass-derived nanocarbon materials for biological applications: challenges and prospects
Biomass-derived nanocarbons (BNCs) have attracted significant research interests due to their promising economic and environmental benefits. Following their extensive uses in physical and chemical research domains, BNCs are now growing in biological applications. However, their practical biological applications are still in their infancy, requiring critical evaluations and strategic directions, which are provided in this review. The carbonization of biomass sources and major types of BNCs are introduced, encompassing carbon nanodots, nanofibres, nanotubes, and graphenes. Next, essential biological uses of BNCs, antibacterial/antibiofilm materials (nanofibres and nanodots) and bioimaging agents (predominantly nanodots), are summarized. Furthermore, the future potential of BNCs, for designing wound dressing/healing materials, water and air disinfection platforms, and microbial electrochemical systems, is discussed. We reach the conclusion that a crucial challenge is the structural control of BNCs. Furthermore, a key knowledge gap for realizing practical biological applications is the lack of systematic comparisons of BNCs with nanocarbons of synthetic origin in the current literature. Although we did not attempt to perform an exhaustive literature survey, the evaluation of the existing results indicates that BNCs are promising as easily accessible materials for various biomedically and environmentally relevant applications.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Journal of Materials Chemistry B Recent Review Articles