Calcium Orthophosphates as Bioceramics: State of the Art
Received: 21 October 2010 / Revised: 16 November 2010 / Accepted: 25 November 2010 / Published: 30 November 2010
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In the late 1960s, much interest was raised in regard to biomedical applications of various ceramic materials. A little bit later, such materials were named bioceramics. This review is limited to bioceramics prepared from calcium orthophosphates only, which belong to the categories
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In the late 1960s, much interest was raised in regard to biomedical applications of various ceramic materials. A little bit later, such materials were named bioceramics. This review is limited to bioceramics prepared from calcium orthophosphates only, which belong to the categories of bioactive and bioresorbable compounds. There have been a number of important advances in this field during the past 30–40 years. Namely, by structural and compositional control, it became possible to choose whether calcium orthophosphate bioceramics were biologically stable once incorporated within the skeletal structure or whether they were resorbed over time. At the turn of the millennium, a new concept of calcium orthophosphate bioceramics—which is able to promote regeneration of bones—was developed. Presently, calcium orthophosphate bioceramics are available in the form of particulates, blocks, cements, coatings, customized designs for specific applications and as injectable composites in a polymer carrier. Current biomedical applications include artificial replacements for hips, knees, teeth, tendons and ligaments, as well as repair for periodontal disease, maxillofacial reconstruction, augmentation and stabilization of the jawbone, spinal fusion and bone fillers after tumor surgery. Exploratory studies demonstrate potential applications of calcium orthophosphate bioceramics as scaffolds, drug delivery systems, as well as carriers of growth factors, bioactive peptides and/or various types of cells for tissue engineering purposes.