About this Research Topic
Bioactive materials are assuming increasing importance: the demand for new materials suitable for healing of tissues and bone is dramatically increasing because of world population aging.
Many attempts have been performed to design and produce materials with several concurrent features, such as adequate mechanical properties for the specific application, and good biocompatibility and biological response to favor the regeneration of damaged tissues.
Among others, bioceramics and bioactive glass have proven to possess superior biological properties compared to other classes of materials. Hydroxyapatite and calcium phosphates have been widely used in the past years in both dentistry and orthopedic surgery, mainly due to their good biocompatibility, osteoconduction, and osseointegration. On the other hand, bioactive glasses have attracted a lot of interest, since they can bond with both hard and soft tissues and may have an antibacterial effect and stimulate new tissue formation.
Despite such interesting properties, bioceramics and bioactive glasses have some drawbacks, in particular, their inherent brittleness that limits their usage as structural materials. Moreover, bioactive glasses are prone to crystallize during thermal treatments, often required to fabricate specific systems such as porous scaffolds or coatings; crystallization is reported to reduce or slow down the bioactivity of the final product.
Therefore, a smart approach is to produce composite materials, which can couple the favorable characteristics of bioceramics and bioactive glass with other materials that can, for example, satisfy the mechanical requirements or overcome problems related to fabrication.
In fact, it is possible to tailor the properties of such composites by selectively varying the composition (i.e. the volume fractions of the two constituents) and thus produce devices with properties tailored for a specific clinical application. These hybrid composites (e.g. with a polymer phase) open new scenarios in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
Composites based on bioactive glasses and bioceramics can be produced in various forms such as scaffolds, moldable implants, and surface coating, useful for many different applications.
This Research Topic focuses on the recent progress in new bioactive glass or bioceramic based composites The collection will also highlight future challenges for the production of innovative materials for regenerative medicine.
Original research and review articles in all areas of composites based on bioceramics and/or bioactive glasses are welcome, including but not limited to:
• Bioactive glass and/or bioceramic composites design
• Innovative production routes
• Bioactive coatings
• New characterization techniques
• Novel applications of bioactive glass and/or bioceramic composites
• In vitro tests (cells) and in vivo tests
Keywords: production techniques, bioactive glasses, bioceramics, regenerative medicine, composites