Plasmonic MXene-based nanocomposites exhibiting photothermal therapeutic effects with lower acute toxicity than pure MXene

Essraa A. Hussein, Moustafa M. Zagho, Balsam R. Rizeq, Nadin N. Younes, Gianfranco Pintus, Khaled Mahmoud, Gheyath K. Nasrallah, Ahmed A. Elzatahry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Here, we fabricated two plasmonic 2D Ti3C2Tx-based nanocomposites (Au/MXene and Au/Fe3O4/MXene) with similarly high anti-cancer photothermal therapy (PTT) capabilities, but with less in vivo toxicity than a pure MXene. Methods: Au/MXene was synthesized by in situ reduction of tetrachloroauric acid using NaBH4 on Ti3C2Tx flakes. For targeted PTT, magnetic Au/Fe3O4/MXene was synthesized via a reaction between freshly prepared magnetite Fe3O4 NPs and MXene solution, followed by in situ integration of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). Results: Morphological characterization by XRD, SEM, and TEM revealed the successful synthesis of Au/MXene and Au/Fe3O4/MXene. Both new composites exhibited a significant in vitro dose-dependent PTT effect against human breast cancer cells MCF7. Interestingly, in vivo acute toxicity assays using zebrafish embryos indicated that Au/MXene and Au/Fe3 O4/MXene had less embryonic mortality (LC50 ≫ 1000 μg/mL) than pure MXene (LC50=257.46 μg/mL). Conclusion: Our new Au/MXene and Au/Fe3O4/MXene nanocomposites could be safer and more suitable than the pure MXene for biomedical applications, especially when targeted PTT is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4529-4539
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Nanomedicine
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019



  • Acute toxicity
  • Gold
  • Magnetite
  • MCF7
  • MXene
  • Photothermal therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry

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