Rebirth of Bone Mineral in Biomedicine: From an Antibiotic Alternative to Targeted Anticancer Therapies

V. Uskokovic
The University of Illinois at Chicago,
United States

Keywords: biomedicine, bone, calcium phosphate

Summary:

Calcium phosphate was selected by Nature to be the firm foundations of our bodies. This has inspired materials scientists to discover in this material more potential than meets the eye. Efforts are currently being made to expand the application repertoire of calcium phosphates beyond their use as traditional bone fillers or tissue engineering construct components that impart osteoconductivity and high compressive strength. The application of calcium phosphates for sustained drug delivery, gene and anticancer therapies, antibiofilm coatings and hard tissue regeneration has been intensely explored recently and will be described in this lecture. All this plethora of applications for calcium phosphates that are now in the R&D stage are the consequence of the immense structural complexity of this material, which is being directly reflected in its ability to display an array of exciting properties under precise synthesis regimens. Foreseen on the horizon will be a new generation of materials for therapeutic and regenerative applications, containing only calcium phosphates and taking on the role of expensive bone growth factors, antibiotics, viral vectors and polymers.