Functional biohybrid materials based on halloysite, sepiolite and cellulose nanofibers for health applications†
Biohybrid materials were prepared by co-assembling the three following components: nanotubular halloysite, microfibrous sepiolite, and cellulose nanofibers dispersed in water, in order to exploit the most salient features of each individual component and to render homogeneous, flexible, yet strong films. Indeed, the incorporation of halloysite improves the mechanical performance of the resulting hybrid nanopapers and the assembly of the three components modifies the surface features concerning wetting properties compared to pristine materials, so that the main characteristics of the resulting materials become tunable with regard to certain properties. Owing to their hierarchical porosity together with their diverse surface characteristics, these hybrids can be used in diverse biomedical/pharmaceutical applications. Herein, for instance, loading with two model drugs, salicylic acid and ibuprofen, allows controlled and sustained release as deduced from antimicrobial assays, opening a versatile path for developing other related organic–inorganic materials of potential interest in diverse application fields.