Bioglass and bioactive glasses and their impact on healthcare

Julian R. Jones, Delia S. Brauer, Leena Hupa, David C. Greenspan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

217 Citations (Scopus)


Glass caused a revolution in health care when Bioglass was discovered by Larry Hench. It was the first material to bond with bone, rather than be encapsulated by fibrous tissue, launching the field of bioactive ceramics. Bioglass is also biodegradable. Almost 50 years on from its discovery that revolution continues. Bioactive glasses stimulate more bone regeneration than other bioactive ceramics, which is attributed to their dissolution products stimulating cells at the genetic level. This second discovery has changed the way clinicians, scientists, and regulatory bodies think about medical devices and the concept of bioactivity. The original 45S5 Bioglass has only recently found really widespread use in orthopedics, having regenerated the bones of more than 1.5 million patients. Its full potential is still yet to be fulfilled. This article takes the reader from Hench's Bioglass 45S5 to its clinical uses and products, before giving examples of nonsurgical products that now use Bioglass, from consumer products, such as toothpaste, to cosmetics. Other glasses have also found important health care applications, such as borate-based glasses that heal chronic wounds. The revolution looks set to continue as new health care applications are being found for bioactive glasses, contributing to extending the glass age.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)423–434
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Glass Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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