Calcium phosphate ceramic systems in growth factor and drug delivery for bone tissue engineering: a review

Acta Biomater. 2012 Apr;8(4):1401-21. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2011.11.017. Epub 2011 Nov 20.


Calcium phosphates (CaPs) are the most widely used bone substitutes in bone tissue engineering due to their compositional similarities to bone mineral and excellent biocompatibility. In recent years, CaPs, especially hydroxyapatite and tricalcium phosphate, have attracted significant interest in simultaneous use as bone substitute and drug delivery vehicle, adding a new dimension to their application. CaPs are more biocompatible than many other ceramic and inorganic nanoparticles. Their biocompatibility and variable stoichiometry, thus surface charge density, functionality, and dissolution properties, make them suitable for both drug and growth factor delivery. CaP matrices and scaffolds have been reported to act as delivery vehicles for growth factors and drugs in bone tissue engineering. Local drug delivery in musculoskeletal disorder treatments can address some of the critical issues more effectively and efficiently than the systemic delivery. CaPs are used as coatings on metallic implants, CaP cements, and custom designed scaffolds to treat musculoskeletal disorders. This review highlights some of the current drug and growth factor delivery approaches and critical issues using CaP particles, coatings, cements, and scaffolds towards orthopedic and dental applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects*
  • Calcium Phosphates / pharmacology*
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyapatites / pharmacology*
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / pharmacology
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*


  • BoneCeramic
  • Calcium Phosphates
  • Hydroxyapatites
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • calcium phosphate