Chemical modification of halloysite nanotubes for controlled loading and release
Clay minerals have been used for medical purposes from ancient times. Among them, the halloysite nanotube, an aluminosilicate of the kaolin group, is an emerging nanomaterial which possesses peculiar chemical characteristics. By means of suitable modifications, such as supramolecular functionalization or covalent modifications, it is possible to obtain novel nanomaterials with tunable properties for several applications. In this context the covalent grafting of suitable organic moieties on the external surface or in the halloysite lumen has been exploited to improve the loading and release of several biologically active molecules. The resulting hybrid nanomaterials have been applied as drug carrier and delivery systems, as fillers for hydrogels, in tissue regeneration and in the gene delivery field. Furthermore the loading and release of specific molecules have been also investigated for environmental purposes. This review summarizes the main developments in the halloysite modifications in the last 20 years with a particular attention to the development in the past two years.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Recent Review Articles