Transition metal dichalgogenides such as MoS2 have recently emerged as hot two-dimensional (2D) materials due to their superior electronic and catalytic properties. Recently, we have reported the usefulness of MoS2 nanosheets toward the electrochemical detection of neurotransmitters and glucose (Narayanan et al 2014 Nanotechnology 25 335702). Furthermore, there are reports available in the literature that demonstrate the usefulness of MoS2 nanosheets for biosensing and energy storage applications (Zhu et al 2013 J. Am. Chem. Soc. 135 5998-6001; Pumera and Loo 2014 Trends Anal. Chem. 61 49-53; Lee et al 2014 Sci. Rep. 4 7352; Stephenson et al 2014 Energy Environ. Sci. 7 209-31). Understanding the cytotoxic effect of any material is very important prior to employing them for any in vivo biological applications such as implantable sensors, chips, or carriers for drug delivery and cell imaging purposes. Herein, we report the cytotoxicity of the MoS2 nanosheets based on the cytotoxic assay results and electrical impedance analysis using rat pheochromocytoma cells (PC12) and rat adrenal medulla endothelial cells (RAMEC). Our results indicated that the MoS2 nanosheets synthesized in our work are safe 2D nanosheets for futuristic biomedical applications.