Superhydrophobic materials are used extensively to realize self-cleaning powers of electronic and other types of devices. The topographic or chemical alterations required to achieve this water-repellent property precludes the use of these materials in biomedical applications. Texas A&M University researchers demonstrated a technique Wetting characteristics are controlled by atomic defects. Source: Texas A&M UniversityWetting characteristics are controlled by atomic defects. Source: Texas A&M Universityfor controlling the wetting characteristics of 2D nanomaterials to engineer desired hydrophobic traits for bioengineering use.

Superhydrophobicity was imparted to 2D transition metal dichalcogenide nanoassemblies of molybdenum disulfide by the incorporation of atomic defects. The resulting material with predefined atomic defects could be coated on glass, silica, rubber and other substrates, indicating its versatility for surface-coating applications.

The adhesion of human mesenchymal stem cells was restricted on superhydrophobic versus superhydrophilic molybdenum disulfide surfaces. The wetting characteristics of the material surface directly influenced cell-adhesion characteristics that can be leveraged for biomedical applications.

The material described in Chemical Communications could be used for nanoelectric, biosensing, lab-on-a-chip and other applications that require a non-textured approach to achieve a superhydrophobic state.

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