Materials science & engineering. C, Materials for biological applications

CdS/ZnS nanocomposites: from mechanochemical synthesis to cytotoxicity issues.

PMID 26478399


CdS/ZnS nanocomposites have been prepared by a two-step solid-state mechanochemical synthesis. CdS has been prepared from cadmium acetate and sodium sulfide precursors in the first step. The obtained cubic CdS (hawleyite, JCPDS 00-010-0454) was then mixed in the second step with the cubic ZnS (sphalerite, JCPDS 00-005-0566) synthesized mechanochemically from the analogous precursors. The crystallite sizes of the new type CdS/ZnS nanocomposite, calculated based on the XRD data, were 3-4 nm for both phases. The synthesized nanoparticles have been further characterized by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and micro-photoluminescence (μPL) spectroscopy. The PL emission peaks in the PL spectra are attributed to the recombination of holes/electrons in the nanocomposites occurring in depth associated with Cd, Zn vacancies and S interstitials. Their photocatalytic activity was also measured. In the photocatalytic activity tests to decolorize Methyl Orange dye aqueous solution, the process is faster and its effectivity is higher when using CdS/ZnS nanocomposite, compared to single phase CdS. Very low cytotoxic activity (high viability) of the cancer cell lines (selected as models of living cells) has been evidenced for CdS/ZnS in comparison with CdS alone. This fact is in a close relationship with Cd(II) ions dissolution tested in a physiological solution. The concentration of cadmium dissolved from CdS/ZnS nanocomposites with variable Cd:Zn ratio was 2.5-5.0 μg.mL(-1), whereas the concentration for pure CdS was much higher - 53 μ The presence of ZnS in the nanocrystalline composite strongly reduced the release of cadmium into the physiological solution, which simulated the environment in the human body. The obtained CdS/ZnS quantum dots can serve as labeling media and co-agents in future anti-cancer drugs, because of their potential in theranostic applications.

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Sodium sulfide
Sodium sulfide hydrate, ≥60%, scales
Na2S · xH2O