Trends and perspectives on the commercialization of bioactive glasses

Adam Shearer, Maziar Montazerian, Jessica J. Sly, Robert G. Hill, John C. Mauro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


At least 25 bioactive glass (BG) medical devices have been approved for clinical use by global regulatory agencies. Diverse applications include monolithic implants, bone void fillers, dentin hypersensitivity agents, wound dressing, and cancer therapeutics. The morphology and delivery systems of bioactive glasses have evolved dramatically since the first devices based on 45S5 Bioglass®. The particle size of these devices has generally decreased with the evolution of bioactive glass technology but primarily lies in the micron size range. Morphologies have progressed from glass monoliths to granules, putties, and cements, allowing medical professionals greater flexibility and control. Compositions of these commercial materials have primarily relied on silicate-based systems with varying concentrations of sodium, calcium, and phosphorus. Furthermore, therapeutic ions have been investigated and show promise for greater control of biological stimulation of genetic processes and increased bioactivity. Some commercial products have exploited the borate and phosphate-based compositions for soft tissue repair/regeneration. Mesoporous BGs also promise anticancer therapies due to their ability to deliver drugs in combination with radiotherapy, photothermal therapy, and magnetic hyperthermia. The objective of this article is to critically discuss all clinically approved bioactive glass products. Understanding essential regulatory standards and rules for production is presented through a review of the commercialization process. The future of bioactive glasses, their promising applications, and the challenges are outlined. Statement of significance: Bioactive glasses have evolved into a wide range of products used to treat various medical conditions. They are non-equilibrium, non-crystalline materials that have been designed to induce specific biological activity. They can bond to bone and soft tissues and contribute to their regeneration. They are promising in combating pathogens and malignancies by delivering drugs, inorganic therapeutic ions, and heat for magnetic-induced hyperthermia or laser-induced phototherapy. This review addresses each bioactive glass product approved by regulatory agencies for clinical use. A review of the commercialization process is also provided with insight into critical regulatory standards and guidelines for manufacturing. Finally, a critical evaluation of the future of bioactive glass development, applications, and challenges are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-31
Number of pages18
JournalActa Biomaterialia
StatePublished - Apr 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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