J Funct Biomater. 2022 Nov 7;13(4):227. doi: 10.3390/jfb13040227.
Sulfate radicals (SO4-·) play important biological roles in biomedical and environmental engineering, such as antimicrobial, antitumor, and disinfection. Compared with other common free radicals, it has the advantages of a longer half-life and higher oxidation potential, which could bring unexpected effects. These properties have prompted researchers to make great contributions to biology and environmental engineering by exploiting their properties. Peroxymonosulfate (PMS) and peroxydisulfate (PDS) are the main raw materials for SO4-· formation. Due to the remarkable progress in nanotechnology, a large number of nanomaterials have been explored that can efficiently activate PMS/PDS, which have been used to generate SO4-· for biological applications. Based on the superior properties and application potential of SO4-·, it is of great significance to review its chemical mechanism, biological effect, and application field. Therefore, in this review, we summarize the latest design of nanomaterials that can effectually activate PMS/PDS to create SO4-·, including metal-based nanomaterials, metal-free nanomaterials, and nanocomposites. Furthermore, we discuss the underlying mechanism of the activation of PMS/PDS using these nanomaterials and the application of SO4-· in the fields of environmental remediation and biomedicine, liberating the application potential of SO4-·. Finally, this review provides the existing problems and prospects of nanomaterials being used to generate SO4-· in the future, providing new ideas and possibilities for the development of biomedicine and environmental remediation.