Bioactive glasses for tissue engineering: where are we and where are we going?

Reference Presenter Authors
02-016 Francesco Baino Baino, F.(Politecnico di Torino); Fiume, E.(Politecnico di Torino); Verné, E.(Politecnico di Torino); Kargozar, S.(Mashhad University of Medical Sciences);

Bioactive glasses (BGs) were invented about 50 years ago by Larry Hench at the University of Florida and have been in clinical use since the 1980s in otology, orthopedics and dentistry. Initially developed as bioactive materials to accelerate the healing of osseous defects, BGs have then proved their potential suitability for a wider spectrum of tissue engineering and therapeutic applications. Classical applications of BGs are in the field of bone and dental repair; however, the fascinating question to be answered in the next few years is: how can BGs be useful in soft tissue regeneration and to treat diseases, such as tumors, that may affect soft internal organs? This work provides a picture of current experimental evidence supporting the suitability of BGs for applications in contact with tissues outside the skeletal system, including muscle, nerve, cardiac and lung tissue regeneration, treatment of diseases affecting sensory organs (eye and ear), embolization of neoplastic tissues, cancer radiotherapy via injectable microspheres, healing of gastric ulcers and wound dressing. A prospect for future research is also provided, highlighting the potential associated to advanced therapy via the controlled release of ions, drugs and growth factors and the stimulation of angiogenesis. The promise of biofabrication for the development of BG-containing composite constructs for organ regeneration will be also discussed. Current research evolution seems to witness that the potential of BGs is still partially unexplored and deserves further investigation in the next few years.