Antimicrobial clay-based materials for wound care

Future Med Chem. 2014 Apr;6(6):641-55. doi: 10.4155/fmc.14.17.


The historical use of clay minerals for the treatment of wounds and other skin ailments is well documented and continues within numerous human cultures the world over. However, a more scientific inquiry into the chemistry and properties of clay minerals emerged in the 19th century with work investigating their role within health gathering pace since the second half of the 20th century. This review gives an overview of clay minerals and how their properties can be manipulated to facilitate the treatment of infected wounds. Evidence of the antimicrobial and healing effects of some natural clay minerals is presented alongside a range of chemical modifications including metal-ion exchange, the formation of clay-drug composites and the development of various polymer-clay systems. While the evidence for applying these materials to infected wounds is limited, we contextualize and discuss the future of this research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aluminum Silicates / chemistry*
  • Aluminum Silicates / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clay
  • Humans
  • Metals / chemistry
  • Metals / therapeutic use
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Polymers / therapeutic use
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Aluminum Silicates
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Metals
  • Polymers
  • Clay