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

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journal contribution
submitted on 2024-03-17, 08:28 and posted on 2024-03-17, 08:28 authored by Essraa A Hussein, Moustafa M Zagho, Balsam R Rizeq, Nadin N Younes, Gianfranco Pintus, Khaled A Mahmoud, Gheyath K Nasrallah, Ahmed A Elzatahry


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.


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).


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/Fe3O4/MXene had less embryonic mortality (LC50 ≫ 1000 μg/mL) than pure MXene (LC50=257.46 μg/mL).


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.

Other Information

Published in: International Journal of Nanomedicine
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.



  • English


Dove Medical Press

Publication Year

  • 2019

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University
  • College of Arts and Sciences - QU
  • Biomedical Research Center - QU
  • Qatar University Health - QU
  • College of Health Sciences - QU HEALTH
  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute - HBKU