Iron oxide decorated MoS2 nanosheets with double PEGylation for chelator-free radiolabeling and multimodal imaging guided photothermal therapy

Teng Liu, Sixiang Shi, Chao Liang, Sida Shen, Liang Cheng, Chao Wang, Xuejiao Song, Shreya Goel, Todd E. Barnhart, Weibo Cai, Zhuang Liu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

384 Citations (Scopus)


Theranostics for in vivo cancer diagnosis and treatment generally requires well-designed nanoscale platforms with multiple integrated functionalities. In this study, we uncover that functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) could be self-assembled on the surface of two-dimensional MoS2 nanosheets via sulfur chemistry, forming MoS2-IO nanocomposites, which are then modified with two types of polyethylene glycol (PEG) to acquire enhanced stability in physiological environments. Interestingly, 64Cu, a commonly used positron-emitting radioisotope, could be firmly adsorbed on the surface of MoS2 without the need of chelating molecules, to enable in vivo positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. On the other hand, the strong near-infrared (NIR) and superparamagnetism of MoS2-IO-PEG could also be utilized for photoacoustic tomography (PAT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, respectively. Under the guidance by such triple-modal imaging, which uncovers efficient tumor retention of MoS2-IO-(d)PEG upon intravenous injection, in vivo photothermal therapy is finally conducted, achieving effective tumor ablation in an animal tumor model. Our study highlights the promise of constructing multifunctional theranostic nanocomposites based on 2D transitional metal dichalcogenides for multimodal imaging-guided cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)950-960
Number of pages11
JournalACS Nano
Issue number1
Early online date8 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • chelate-free Cu labeling
  • iron oxide nanoparticles
  • MoS nanosheets
  • multimodal imaging
  • photothermal therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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