Biomedical uses for 2D materials beyond graphene: Current advances and challenges ahead

Currently, a broad interdisciplinary research effort is pursued on biomedical applications of 2D materials (2DMs) beyond graphene, due to their unique physicochemical properties. The continuous discovery of new 2DMs is driven by the diverse chemical compositions and tuneable characteristics offered. Researchers are increasingly attracted to exploit those as drug delivery systems, highly efficient photothermal modalities, multimodal therapeutics with non-invasive diagnostic capabilities, biosensing and tissue engineering. A crucial limitation of some of the 2DMs is their moderate colloidal stability in the aqueous or physiological media. In addition, the lack of suitable functionalisation strategies should encourage the exploration of novel chemical methodologies on that front. Moreover, the clinical translation of these emerging materials will require undertaking of fundamental research on biocompatibility, toxicology and biopersistence in the living body as well as in the environment. In this review, we have covered the progresses in the biomedical applications of 2DMs achieved so far.