Development of Strong and Tough Bioactive Glass Composites for Structural Bone Repair


Bioactive glass particles and weak scaffolds are used to heal small contained bone defects but the development of bioactive glass scaffolds with the requisite mechanical reliability and in vivo performance to heal structural (load-bearing) bone defects is challenging. Research in the last five years has shown the ability to create bioactive glass scaffolds with compressive strength comparable to human cortical bone. These strong porous scaffolds have healed segmental bone defects in small and large rodents at a rate comparable to autogenous bone grafts. More recent research has shown that the incorporation of a porosity gradient into these scaffolds to mimic human long bones can lead to significant improvement in their flexural strength. The addition of an adherent biodegradable polymer layer to the external surface of the scaffolds can further improve their load-bearing capacity and dramatically improve their work of fracture (or toughness) in flexural loading. These tough and strong bioactive glass-polymer composites are promising synthetic implants for structural bone repair. This article will review the development of tough and strong porous bioactive glass scaffolds, their evaluation in vitro and in vivo, and their potential for use in healing structural bone defects.

Meeting Name

41st International Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites, ICACC 2017 (2017: Jan. 22-27, Daytona Beach, FL)


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Bearings (Machine Parts); Biodegradable Polymers; Bone; Bone Cement; Compressive Strength; Fracture; Fracture Toughness; Mammals; Polymeric Implants; Repair; Scaffolds, Bioactive Glass-Polymer; Human Cortical Bone; Load-Bearing Capacity; Mechanical Reliability; Porosity Gradients; Porous Bioactive Glass; Segmental Bone Defect; Synthetic Implants, Bioactive Glass

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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Publication Date

01 Feb 2018