Jul 27, 2015
Molybdenum disulfide nanosheets – Are they safe?
Transition metal dichalgogenides such as molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) have recently emerged as hot two-dimensional (2D) materials due to their superior electronic and catalytic properties. Understanding the cytotoxic effect of any material is very important prior to employing them for any in vivo biological applications. Therefore, reporting in Nanotechnology, researchers investigate for the first time the cytotoxicity of the MoS2 nanosheets based on cytotoxic assay results and electrical impedance analysis.
The researchers employ the principle of liquid exfoliation to obtain the 2D MoS2 nanosheets before they are assessed for their suitability for biological applications. They then investigate the cytotoxic effects on two important cells lines, rat adrenal medulla endothelial (RAMEC) cells and rat pheochromocytoma (PC 12) cells, using three different techniques.
Insignificant cytotoxic effects
Electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) results indicate that the resistance value remains the same before and after the addition of MoS2 nanosheets thereby confirming that the MoS2 nanosheets have insignificant cytotoxic effects. The researchers further confirm their findings by performing cytotoxic measurements using a sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay and confocal microscopy.
From these investigations, it is evident that these the MoS2 nanosheets are great potential candidates for many biological applications such as drug delivery, gene transfection, and bio-imaging.
More information about this research can be found in the journal Nanotechnology 26 315102.
About the author
Subbiah Alwarappan is a senior scientist at CSIR-Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CSIR-CECRI), Karaikudi, India. His expertise is in the area of nanomaterials, ultra-microelectrodes, electrochemical nanobiosensors/devices for clinical applications. Tharangattu Narayanan is a Reader at TCIS, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Hyderabad, India. His expertise is in the broad areas of functional nanomaterials and their applications. Chen-Zhong Li is a Kaufmann Professor at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA and works in the area of nanomedicine, nanosafety and biosensors for point-of-care testings.