Activated charcoal microcapsules and their applications

J Biomater Appl. 1998 Oct;13(2):128-57. doi: 10.1177/088532829801300204.


Activated charcoal, long known to the ancients as a substance of therapeutic value in a variety of maladies, has recently been "rediscovered" to be of great value in medical applications. Activated charcoal hemoperfusion is effective in blood purification for removal of various circulating toxic materials and waste metabolites, directly. However, particulate release and platelet adhesion prevent its continued clinical use. Polymeric coatings or microencapsulation of charcoal within polymers have improved their blood compatibility. Chitosan encapsulated activated charcoal (ACCB) beads have been extensively investigated in our group for the removal of various toxins such as urea, creatinine, uric acid, bilirubin, etc. This article highlights various methods of microencapsulation procedures of activated charcoal and the importance of this novel material for a variety of biomedical applications. Further, this review provides an insight to the future perspectives for using them in clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Animals
  • Capsules / pharmacology*
  • Charcoal / chemistry*
  • Charcoal / metabolism
  • Drug Compounding / methods
  • Hemoperfusion / methods
  • Hemoperfusion / trends
  • Humans
  • Surface Properties


  • Capsules
  • Charcoal