Covalently modified halloysite clay nanotubes: synthesis, properties, biological and medical applications
Halloysite (HNT) is a promising natural nanosized tubular clay mineral that has many important uses in different industrial fields. It is naturally occurring, biocompatible, and available in thousands of tons at low cost. As a consequence of a hollow cavity, HNT is mainly used as nanocontainer for the controlled release of several chemicals. Chemical modification of both surfaces (inner lumen and outer surface) is a strategy to tune the nanotube's properties. Specifically, chemical modification of HNT surfaces generates a nanoarchitecture with targeted affinity through outer surface functionalization and drug transport ability from functionalization of the nanotube lumen. The primary focus of this review is the research of modified halloysite nanotubes and their applications in biological and medical fields.