A strong interest in use of ceramics for biomedical applications appeared in the late 1960's. Used initially as alternatives to metals in order to increase a biocompatibility of implants, bioceramics have become a diverse class of biomaterials, presently including three basic types: relatively bioinert ceramics, bioactive (or surface reactive) and bioresorbable ones. Furthermore, any type of bioceramics could be porous to provide tissue ingrowth. This review is devoted to bioceramics prepared from calcium orthophosphates, which belong to the categories of bioresorbable and bioactive compounds. During the past 30-40 years, there have been a number of major advances in this field. Namely, after the initial work on development of bioceramics that was tolerated in the physiological environment, emphasis was shifted towards the use of bioceramics that interacted with bones by forming a direct chemical bond. By the structural and compositional control, it became possible to choose whether the bioceramics of calcium orthophosphates was biologically stable once incorporated within the skeletal structure or whether it was resorbed over time. At the turn of the millennium, a new concept of calcium orthophosphate bioceramics, which is able to regenerate bone tissues, has been developed. Current biomedical applications of calcium orthophosphate bioceramics include 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. Potential future applications of calcium orthophosphate bioceramics will include drug-delivery systems, as well as they will become effective carriers of growth factors, bioactive peptides and/or various types of cells for tissue engineering purposes.
(c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.