Home » Research » Projects » NCN »

Investigations of the anticancer properties of the titanium carbides and nitrides - MXenes phases

No: UMO-2017/26/E/ST8/01073
Program: Sonata Bis 7
Financing unit: NCN
Project leader: professor Agnieszka Jastrzębska
Function: leader
Timeframe: 2018-2022

One of the most important tasks of modern society is to solve the problem of cancer. Despite the widespread use of chemotherapy, there are more and more frequent reports of its ineffectiveness. The present project will contribute to the development of alternative chemotherapy treatments of cancer suitable for the application in nanomedicine. The project focus on innovative materials with a two-dimensional (2D) structure - MXenes. The MXenes phases are interesting in this area because of their unique physico-chemical properties and structure. The main scientific goal of the project is to investigate in vitro anticancer and cytotoxic properties of a new family of 2D nano-crystals of carbide and titanium nitrides (MXenes phases) and their effect on cells. The goal is also to create a new research team and its development as a result of the project.

The properties of 2D materials differ significantly from their 3D counterparts. One of the better examples is graphene and its three-dimensional counterpart - graphite. Graphene as a 2D structure is a very good heat and electricity conductor, transparent, characterized by very high

electronic mobility. These properties significantly differentiate it from its 3D counterpart - graphite, a soft opaque mineral, cleavable and prone to abrasion. This difference in

the properties of 2D and 3D structures allows for transformation from layered three-dimensional bulk structures into 2D with unique structure properties. Such 3D structures are known for many years (this include Mn+1AXn compounds with alternating layers of metal and non-metal called MAX phases). In our preliminary studies we have implemented the method of expanding MAX phases to MXenes by removing one layer of the element from the crystal structure. In addition, using sonication in liquids, we can delaminate MXenes into 2D structures of light transition metal carbides