Eradication of Fungi Using MoSe2/Chitosan Nanosheets

Sanchari Saha, Matthew S. Gilliam, Qing Hua Wang, Alexander A. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Antifungal drug resistance is an increasingly significant threat to humans, livestock, and crops. Recent studies have shown nanomaterials as promising alternatives in combating drug-resistant pathogens. Here, we show that molybdenum diselenide (MoSe2) nanosheets dispersed in the cationic polymer chitosan (CS) exhibit exceptional antifungal activity. The MoSe2/CS nanosheets provide minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) between 0.78 and 37.5 μg ml–1 against a variety of unicellular fungal strains and demonstrate minimum fungicidal concentrations (MFCs) from 0.5 to 75 μg ml–1 for diverse unicellular and filamentous strains. Furthermore, we demonstrate the ability of MoSe2/CS to eradicate increasingly prevalent and highly multi-drug-resistant (MDR) fungi Candida auris strains with MICs of 25 to 50 μm ml–1 and MFCs of 37.5 to 150 μm ml–1. The effective antifungal activity of MoSe2/CS was observed after an incubation time of 3 h, which is faster than the time needed for other nanomaterial-based antifungal agents incorporating graphene, two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials, or silver nanoparticles. MoSe2/CS also showed high biocompatibility and was benign toward human red blood cells and human embryonic kidney cells. Electron microscopy and confocal optical microscopy show that fungal cells treated with MoSe2/CS nanosheets exhibit morphological deformities, ruptured cell walls and interior voids, and metabolic inactivation. Mechanistic investigations revealed that treatment with MoSe2/CS triggers complete membrane depolarization and membrane disintegration within 3 h. Hence, this work demonstrates that the biocompatible nanomaterial MoSe2/CS is a highly effective alternative antifungal agent against many kinds of pathogenic fungi including MDR strains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-148
Number of pages16
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 28 2022


  • 2D materials
  • Candida auris
  • antifungal materials
  • antifungal mechanism
  • multi-drug-resistant fungi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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