Two-dimensional transition metal carbides and nitrides (MXenes) for biomedical applications

Kai Huang, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Zhongjun Li, Shenzhen University
Jing Lin, Shenzhen University
Gang Han, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Peng Huang, Shenzhen University

Abstract

Two-dimensional transition metal carbides and nitrides known as MXenes, with a general formula of Mn+1Xn (n = 1-3), integrate the advantages of metallic conductive transition metals with large groups of carbides, nitrides, or carbonitrides. They have led to a burgeoning research interest in biomedical applications due to their ultrathin structure and fascinating physiochemical (electronic, optical, magnetic, etc.) properties. In this review, we summarize recent advances in biomedical applications for MXenes. We first introduce the preparation methods and surface modifications with respect to MXenes. Their unique properties are then elaborated. Thirdly, we highlight their various biomedical applications, such as with biosensors, antibacterial materials, bioimaging probes, therapeutics, and theranostics. In the end, the current challenges and new opportunities for MXenes in regard to their biomedical applications are also discussed.