The term colloid was coined in 1861 by Thomas Graham. It means “glue” in Greek. A colloid usually consists of two phases there are also multi-phase colloids; one continuous, or homogeneous, phase in which the other phase is dispersed. The principle use of colloids is for intravascular volume expansion in patients with hypovolemic or distributive shock.
Colloids find many applications in our daily life and industry. Some important applications of colloids are
- In medicine – Colloidal medicines are easily absorbed by our body tissues and hence are more effective than medicines in the form of tablets. A large number of medicinal preparations are colloidal in nature. For example, colloidal sulfur, calcium, silver, and gold etc are used in medicines. Antacid and laxative gels are colloids.
- In food – Many of our food items are in the form of colloids. For example, milk, protein solutions, starch solutions, fruit solutions, cheese, butter, ice cream, whipped cream, marshmallow, mayonnaise, jello, and curd are all colloids.