There has been a growing interest in the different applications of nanomaterials in the field of medicine. An article published in Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine showed the ways in which Laponite®, a synthetic clay made of nanomaterials, can be of use in clinical practice.
Current advances in technology have provided many opportunities to develop new devices that improve the practice of medicine. There has been a growing interest in the different applications of nanomaterials in the field of medicine.
An article published in Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine reviewed Laponite®, a non-toxic synthetic clay composed of nanomaterials which has different uses in the field of medicine. Laponite® can be used in drug delivery systems, as the synthetic clay protects substances from degradation in physiologic environments. Different experiments show that Laponite® is effective not only in protecting drugs from degradation, but also in transporting and releasing drugs into the body. The degradation of Laponite® in the physiologic environment also releases products which have biological roles, especially in bone formation.
Laponite® has been shown to induce osteogenic differentiation of cells in the absence of other factors which are known to promote differentiation and cell growth. The application of nanomaterials in bioimaging has also been studied. In one experiment, Laponite® was incorporated with gadolinum, a dye used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), resulting in brighter images and prolonged contrast enhancement for 1 hour post-injection. Laponite® has also proven to be of use in the field of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. This synthetic clay can elicit specific biologic responses, act as a carrier for biochemical factors, and improve the mechanical properties of scaffolds used for tissue growth.
In summary, nanomaterials and synthetic clays such as Laponite® have many applications in the field of medicine. Although current published literature state no toxic effects on the human body, further studies are needed to assess safety before it can be applied to clinical practice.
Written By: Karla Sevilla