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Mini-review: potential of diatom-derived silica for biomedical applications
Sardo, A.; Orefice, I.; Balzano, S.; Barra, L.; Romano, G. (2021). Mini-review: potential of diatom-derived silica for biomedical applications. Applied Sciences-Basel 11(10): 4533.
In: Applied Sciences-Basel. MDPI: Basel. e-ISSN 2076-3417, meer
Peer reviewed article  

Beschikbaar in  Auteurs 
Documenttype: Revisie

Author keywords
    biosilica; diatom frustule; sustainable production; drug delivery

Auteurs  Top 
  • Sardo, A.
  • Orefice, I.
  • Balzano, S., meer
  • Barra, L.
  • Romano, G.

    Diatoms are unicellular eukaryotic microalgae widely distributed in aquatic environments, possessing a porous silica cell wall known as frustule. Diatom frustules are considered as a sustainable source for several industrial applications because of their high biocompatibility and the easiness of surface functionalisation, which make frustules suitable for regenerative medicine and as drug carriers. Frustules are made of hydrated silica, and can be extracted and purified both from living and fossil diatoms using acid treatments or high temperatures. Biosilica frustules have proved to be suitable for biomedical applications, but, unfortunately, they are not officially recognised as safe by governmental food and medical agencies yet. In the present review, we highlight the frustule formation process, the most common purification techniques, as well as advantages and bottlenecks related to the employment of diatom-derived silica for medical purposes, suggesting possible solutions for a large-scale biosilica production.

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