Raw and Purified Clay Minerals for Drug Delivery Applications

Gökçe Maide Bekaroǧlu, Sevim İşçi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the aim was to prepare drug-releasing clay mineral particles using raw (CaMt) and purified (PMt) montmorillonite and to compare and determine the effects of purification on the properties of montmorillonite. Montmorillonite clay minerals are used in several pharmaceutical and cosmetic products due to their many favorable properties, such as cation exchange capacity, adsorption capability, high specific surface area, and biocompatibility. Recently, several types of clay minerals have been widely studied for drug delivery applications due to their unique properties. The purification of montmorillonite is considered as a potentially useful step which may decrease the toxicity of impurities but which may increase the adsorption capacity of the montmorillonite. However, the effects on the toxicity and drug-release properties of purified montmorillonite have never been compared to that of raw montmorillonite. Montmorillonite was purified through decomposition of carbonates, dissolution of hydroxides, oxidation of organic materials, dialysis, and sedimentation. The raw and the purified montmorillonite were characterized using XRD, FTIR, and cation exchange capacities. Then, the cytotoxicity of raw and purified montmorillonite on normal hFOB cells was investigated to assess their biocompatibility in vitro. Finally, the efficacy of montmorillonite as a drug-delivering agent was investigated in vitro using cytotoxicity assays with the MCF7 cell line. The antitumor drug doxorubicin was loaded onto particles through electrostatic forces at 97.99% for CaMt and 96.79% for PMt. The drug-loading efficiency and release behavior of both clay minerals were determined. Results showed that both raw and purified montmorillonite did not significantly reduce the viability of normal cells at low concentrations (<500 μg/mL). At high concentrations, both raw and purified montmorillonite showed significant toxicity and the effect of impurities on toxicity were also more pronounced. Although drug loading was successful for both clay minerals there were differences in their controlled drug-release behavior. Doxorubicin-loaded raw and purified clay minerals significantly reduced MCF7 cell viability similar to pure DOX.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38825-38831
Number of pages7
JournalACS Omega
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.


This paper is supported by Research Fund of Istanbul Technical University, (TGA-2017-40842). We would like to dedicate the publication to Prof. Dr. Fatma Neşe Kök who always guided us and was an excellent friend.

FundersFunder number
Istanbul Teknik ÜniversitesiTGA-2017-40842


    Dive into the research topics of 'Raw and Purified Clay Minerals for Drug Delivery Applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this