Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is an analogue of graphite called “white graphene.” In the structure of h-BN, B and N atoms substitute C atoms. The boron and nitrogen atoms are linked via strong B-N covalent bonds and form interlocking hexagonal rings. h-BN is used in different areas due to its interesting physical and chemical properties, e.g., in electronics as an insulator and in ceramics, resins, plastics, and paints. Therefore, boron nitride (BN) is also a popular inorganic compound in cosmetic industry (the highest BN concentration up to 25% can be found in eye shadow formulation). It is also widely used in dental cement production (for dental and orthodontic applications). Boron nitride seems to be suitable for biomedical applications; therefore, the cytotoxicity in vitro and in vivo observations of h-BN nanoplates and novel few-layered h-BN-based nanocomposites are still needed. The short-time studies confirm their low cytotoxicity and suggest that BN can be used as a novel drug delivery system; however, medical application needs additional verification in long-term studies.
Part of the book: Biochemical Toxicology