Background: In this work the cytotoxicity and gastric and gastrointestinal resistance of
a high-load synthetic expandable mica, Na-mica-4, is studied for the first time. The hydrophilic
character of this clay mineral can be modified by ion exchange reaction between Na+ inorganic cations
housed in the interlayer space, and surfactant molecules, resulting in the formation of an
organophilic material. This adsorption capability of organic compounds makes them very useful
for a wide range of applications, such as their use as drug carriers. Previous studies have shown the
high adsorption capacity of organofunctionalized Na-mica-4 of different types of drugs.
Objetive: To carry out initial trials aimed at testing the cytotoxicity of a synthetic organofunctional
expandable mica and evaluating its resistance to gastric and gastrointestinal digestion.
Methods: A highly charged sodium mica (Na-mica-4) was synthesized and organofunctional by cationic
exchange with an alkylamine, primary amine of 18 carbon atoms (C18-mica-4). Both were
characterized by X-ray diffraction, field transmission electron microscopy, surface-specific analysis,
differential scanning calorimetry, and thermal gravimetric analysis. In addition, screening cytotoxicity
trials were conducted on the human intestinal cell line Caco-2 with C18-mica-4 (0-125
Results: Only one of the endpoints evaluated (the reduction of tetrazolium MTS salt by dehydrogenase
enzymes) showed a significant decrease in cellular viability after 48h at the highest concentration
tested. C18-mica-4 shows structural resistance to both, gastric and gastrointestinal, digestion.
Conclusion: A successful development of a functionalized mica has been made with a promising
potential application as a carrier to the drug.