Several reports indicate that the usage of clays for curative and protective purpose (e.g. for skin cleaning, to cure gastro internal diseases, wounds, and irritation) is as old as mankind itself, thus underlining an implicit knowledge of the interaction between clays and living organisms. When considering specific research, even if it should not be neglected that the adsorption of nucleic acid bases on mineral surfaces has long been assumed to be related to the origins of life, only in the last years clays and clay minerals, both natural and synthetic, are seriously taken into consideration owing to their high biocompatibility which renders them as very promising tools for various biological purposes. In addition, several investigations also consider interactions between clay minerals (generally 2:1 layered silicates such as smectites) and organic molecules to improve/modify the adsorption behavior of natural minerals.
Speculation on the origin of life is beyond the scope of this session, but we encourage submission of contributions mostly concerning the ability of clay surfaces to selectively adsorb bio-molecules or the monomeric and oligomeric units of these macromolecules. Contributions concerning: i) interaction with organic molecules, also including intercalation of polymer and organo-metallic complexes, ii) polymerization reactions in the interlayer, and iii) applications of clays in therapeutic (bio-medical) and/or pharmaceutical activity will be also appreciated, as well as novel experimental techniques or modeling approaches on phyllosilicates.