Halloysite nanotubes with different outer surface/inner lumen chemistry (SiO2/Al2O3) are natural objects with a 50 nm diameter hollow cylindrical structure, which are able to carry functional compounds both inside and outside. They are promising for biological applications where their drug loading capacity combined with a low toxicity ensures the safe interaction of these nanomaterials with living cells. In this paper, the antimicrobial properties of the clay nanotube-based composites are reviewed, including applications in microbe-resistant biocidal textile, paints, filters, and medical formulations (wound dressings, drug delivery systems, antiseptic sprays, and tissue engineering scaffolds). Though halloysite-based antimicrobial materials have been widely investigated, their application in medicine needs clinical studies. This review suggests the scalable antimicrobial nano/micro composites based on natural tubule clays and outlines research and development perspectives in the field.
Keywords: antimicrobial composites; biofouling; clay nanotubes; halloysite; microbiology.