Acta Physico-Chimica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (10): 1078-1089.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201812057

Special Issue: Two-Dimensional Materials and Devices

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

2D Materials Meet Biomacromolecules: Opportunities and Challenges

Chunbao DU1,*(),Xiaoling HU2,Gang ZHANG3,Yuan CHENG3,*()   

  1. 1 College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xi'an Shiyou University, Xi'an 710065, P. R. China
    2 School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an 710072, P. R. China
    3 Institute of High Performance Computing, A*STAR, 138632, Singapore
  • Received:2018-12-31 Accepted:2019-01-24 Published:2019-01-29
  • Contact: Chunbao DU,Yuan CHENG;
  • Supported by:
    The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(51433008);the RIE2020 Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) Programmatic grant, Work Package 4(A1898b0043)


With the rapid development of science and technology, various nanomaterials have continually emerged to meet human needs. As a newly emerging class of nanomaterials, two-dimensional (2D) materials have received wide attention recently in energy storage, catalysis, sensing and biomedicine due to their unique features such as good mechanical property, high specific surface area, excellent thermal and electrical conductivity. Biomacromolecules are the special organic molecules with various biological activities which exist extensively in every aspect of human life. When 2D materials meet biomacromolecules to display their own unique advantages, more opportunities and challenges have arisen for the exploitation and fabrication of novel nanomaterials with unique electrical, mechanical, biological properties and specific functions. In recent years, extensive research has been carried out with outstanding achievement thus the combination of 2D materials and biomacromolecules becomes a new hotspot. There were generally two binding interactions between 2D materials and biomacromolecules, namely non-covalent binding (electrostatic interaction, hydrophobic effect, ππ stacking, van der Waals interaction) and covalent binding (special chemical reactions between the functional groups of 2D materials and biomacromolecules). In addition, due to the excellent photothermal conversion performance, 2D materials could exhibit a non-contact interaction to biomacromolecules through the photo-thermal effect which has greatly broadened their applications. Up to now, numerous studies have clearly revealed the binding and effect mechanism and the research will be more focused on expanding the scope and application. Currently, the combination of 2D materials and biomacromolecules has widely involved in many cutting-edge applications such as flexible device, biosensor, smart skin, drug delivery, antibacterial, disease therapy and so on. Although a lot of progress has been made, several highlight open questions still need to be urgently addressed, such as the production cost of 2D materials, biological activity of biomacromolecules, stability and biocompatibility of 2D/biomacromolecule nanomaterials. This review summarizes the interactions between some typical 2D materials (i.e. graphene, graphene oxide, nitrogen-doped graphene, molybdenum disulfide, phosphorene, silylene and germanene) and biomacromolecules (i.e. silk protein, lysozyme, bovine serum albumin, bovine hemoglobin, ovalbumin, villin, bovine fibrinogen, DNA/RNA, glucose oxidase and chitosan) and focuses on the recent progress of some typical applications (i.e. engineering application, disease therapy and antibacterial). The non-covalent and covalent bindings of 2D materials and biomacromolecules are discussed in detail, and the applications of the combination of 2D materials and biomacromolecules in engineering and bioscience have been reviewed. Finally, the challenges for the future development of 2D materials and biomacromolecules are also briefly proposed.


Key words: Two-dimensional material, Biomacromolecule, Non-covalence, Covalence, Application