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Differences in the Toxicological Potential of 2D versus Aggregated Molybdenum Disulfide in the Lung.


2D molybdenum disulfide (MoS2 ) has distinct optical and electronic properties compared to aggregated MoS2 , enabling wide use of these materials for electronic and biomedical applications. However, the hazard potential of MoS2 has not been studied extensively. Here, a comprehensive analysis of the pulmonary hazard potential of three aqueous suspended forms of MoS2 -aggregated MoS2 (Agg-MoS2 ), MoS2 exfoliated by lithiation (Lit-MoS2 ), and MoS2 dispersed by Pluronic F87 (PF87-MoS2 )-is presented. No cytotoxicity is detected in THP-1 and BEAS-2B cell lines. However, Agg-MoS2 induces strong proinflammatory and profibrogenic responses in vitro. In contrast, Lit- and PF87-MoS2 have little or no effect. In an acute toxicity study in mice, Agg-MoS2 induces acute lung inflammation, while Lit-MoS2 and PF87-MoS2 have little or no effect. In a subchronic study, there is no evidence of pulmonary fibrosis in response to all forms of MoS2 . These data suggest that exfoliation attenuates the toxicity of Agg-MoS2 , which is an important consideration toward the safety evaluation and use of nanoscale MoS2 materials for industrial and biological applications.

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