Bone grafting considerably enhancing bone regeneration as well as clinical outcomes following severe loss or injury of bone . Scientists are exploring different ways to improve bone grafting methods and provide denser and faster regeneration of bone with reduced morbidity.

Autologous bone grafting, which is known to be autograft, was believed to be the preferred means of bone grafting modality,  but artificial bone grafts are favored over autografts because they are not only available but also prevent the need for additional surgery. Despite this fact, bone graft substitutes can have certain limitations with regards to its strength under torsion.

Bioactive glass , in terms of its strength, biocompatibility, and a host of achievable properties, has been widely used to facilitate bone repair and provide support in tissue engineering. This article explores how bioactive glass is used in bone grafting.

Bioactive glass for bone grafting

When bioactive glass is introduced into the body, specific biological activity is induced that promotes the release of soluble ionic species. This causes the glass to be coated with a hydroxyapatite-like substance. After this layer is formed, bioactive glass bonds strongly with both soft and hard tissues. This bioactive glass can also be developed to release the nutrients needed for bone regeneration.

While the porosity and brittleness of the bioactive glass do not make it a suitable bone graft substitute, it can still be used to enhance the efficacy of existing bone substitute materials. Damaged bone has been shown to regain its original strength more rapidly when repaired using the combination of composite and bioactive glass in comparison to bone repair using composite alone, and that the effectiveness achieved is comparable to that of autologous bone grafting.

In a recent study, a mineralized collagen bone substitute with and without the added bioactive glass was used to compare spine fusion in rabbits. It was observed that the bioactive glass-collagen composite closely reflected the autograft repair with regards to the quality and amount of the new bone. Fusion also occurred earlier when the collagen composite was augmented with  bioactive glass .

Conclusion

Bone grafting serves as a valuable tool for the repair and treatment of diseased or damaged bone. Autografting is the gold standard, which prevents rejection reactions by using the bone harvested from the patient. However, studies are ongoing to find a suitable alternative, because the additional surgery required to harvest bone for grafting procedure can increase patient morbidity.

While substitutes have been shown to be effective , they fail to promote the formation of new, strong bone. Bioactive glass is biocompatible and improves the formation of new and strong bones. It has been shown that when bioactive glass is added to bone substitutes, it can boost their efficacy as well as bone healing properties to rival those acquired with autografting.

Mo-Sci develops high-quality bioactive glass in a form that is perfect for combining with composites. The company can also customize the composition of the bioactive glass to meet specific needs.