Manipulate intestinal organoids with niobium carbide nanosheets

J Biomed Mater Res A. 2021 Apr;109(4):479-487. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.37032. Epub 2020 Jun 17.


Multifunctional two-dimensional nanosheet materials have attracted attention in biomedical fields due to their unique physiochemical and biological properties. Interactions between intestinal stem cells and Engineered Nanomaterials (ENMs) are an essential area in research with the growing diagnosis of gastrointestinal (GI) diseases. One unique type of two-dimensional metal carbide nanomaterial, niobium carbide (Nb2 C), has shown promising properties for potential applications in this field, such as biocompatibility, stability, and high photothermal conversion efficiency. In this study, Nb2 C nanosheets were prepared by spark plasma sintering and HF etching. Various concentrations of Nb2 C nanosheets were placed inside intestinal organoids, which mimic the real functions of an intestinal system. These organoids were formed from intestinal crypts that were isolated from mice and grew into self-maintained systems. Through growth analysis, surface area calculations, and cell viability tests, it was concluded that an optimal concentration of nanosheets exists that may offer stimulation to intestinal cells while having no toxic effects. A high concentration of nanosheets in the organoids inhibited growth, whereas the control and low concentration of nanosheets showed no reduced growth rate. When placed under infrared exposure, the organoids with nanosheets offered stimulation and showed more viability after time as compared to the control organoids with no nanosheets. These results show overall potential benefits of placing low concentration Nb2 C nanosheets in intestinal systems to protect and stimulate cell survivability when undergoing various treatments.

Keywords: intestinal organoids; manipulation; nanosheets; niobium carbide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry
  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacology
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Intestines / cytology
  • Intestines / drug effects*
  • Intestines / growth & development
  • Mice
  • Nanostructures* / chemistry
  • Nanostructures* / ultrastructure
  • Niobium / chemistry
  • Niobium / pharmacology*
  • Organoids / cytology
  • Organoids / drug effects*
  • Organoids / growth & development


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Niobium
  • niobium carbide