Theranostics 2020; 10(4):1861-1872. doi:10.7150/thno.39715 This issue

Research Paper

Coordination-induced exfoliation to monolayer Bi-anchored MnB2 nanosheets for multimodal imaging-guided photothermal therapy of cancer

Zhaokui Jin*, Danyang Chen*, Penghe Zhao, Yanyuan Wen, Mingjian Fan, Gaoxin Zhou, Yingshuai Wang, Qianjun He

Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Biomedical Measurements and Ultrasound Imaging, National-Regional Key Technology Engineering Laboratory for Medical Ultrasound, School of Biomedical Engineering, Health Science Center, Shenzhen University, No. 1066 Xueyuan Road, Nanshan District, Shenzhen 518060, Guangdong, China.
*These coauthors contributed equally to this work: Zhaokui Jin and Danyang Chen.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Jin Z, Chen D, Zhao P, Wen Y, Fan M, Zhou G, Wang Y, He Q. Coordination-induced exfoliation to monolayer Bi-anchored MnB2 nanosheets for multimodal imaging-guided photothermal therapy of cancer. Theranostics 2020; 10(4):1861-1872. doi:10.7150/thno.39715. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Background: Rapid advance in biomedicine has recently vitalized the development of multifunctional two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials for cancer theranostics. However, it is still challenging to develop new strategy to produce new types of 2D nanomaterials with flexible structure and function for enhanced disease theranostics.

Method: We explore the monolayer Bi-anchored manganese boride nanosheets (MBBN) as a new type of MBene (metal boride), and discover their unique near infrared (NIR)-photothermal and photoacoustic effects, X-ray absorption and MRI imaging properties, and develop them as a new nanotheranostic agent for multimodal imaging-guided photothermal therapy of cancer. A microwave-assisted chemical etching route was utilized to exfoliate the manganese boride bulk into the nanosheets-constructed flower-like manganese boride nanoparticle (MBN), and a coordination-induced exfoliation strategy was further developed to separate the MBN into the dispersive monolayer MBBN by the coordination between Bi and B on the surface, and the B-OH group on the surface of MBBN enabled facile surface modification with hyaluronic acid (HA) by the borate esterification reaction in favor of enhanced monodispersion and active tumor targeting.

Result: The constructed MBBN displays superior NIR-photothermal conversion efficiency (η=59.4%) as well as high photothermal stability, and possesses versatile imaging functionality including photoacoustic, photothermal, CT and T1-wighted MRI imagings. In vitro and in vivo evaluations indicate that MBBN had high photothermal ablation and multimodal imaging performances, realizing high efficacy of imaging-guided cancer therapy.

Conclusion: We have proposed new MBene concept and exfloliation strategy to impart the integration of structural modification and functional enhancement for cancer theranostics, which would open an avenue to facile fabrication and extended application of multifunctional 2D nanomaterials.

Keywords: two-dimensional nanomaterials, photothermal therapy, MBene, nanotheranostics, manganese boride.