Bioactive Glasses

Bioactive glasses dissolve in physiological fluids and form apatite on their surface. They are of interest for use as bone grafts, tissue engineering scaffolds and implant coatings as they form an intimate bond with living bone. Recently, they also have attracted interest for use in dentifrices for treating dentine hypersensitivity. Bioactive glasses can also act as release vehicles for therapeutically active ions such as strontium (increases bone formation and reduces bone resorption), fluoride (increases bone formation and prevents dental caries) or zinc (bactericidal).
Investigation of the glass structure (using solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, in collaboration with Dr. Rob Law, Imperial College London and Dr. Natalia Karpukhina, Queen Mary University of London) is a key part of the research, allowing us to link compositional/structural changes to changes in glass properties.

Coated screw
Bioactive glass coating on a Ti6Al4V implant screw. (Lotfibakhshaiesh et al., Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids 356 (2010) 2583-2590)

SEM apatite
Bioactive glass particles (left) and apatite crystals (right) occluding dentinal tubules (inset: etched dentine disc with exposed tubules). (Lynch et al., Dental Materials 28 (2012) 168-178)

bioactive glass fibres
Bioactive glass fibres drawn from a pre-form


Dr Rob Law, Department of Chemistry, Imperial College, London, UK
Prof. Robert Hill, Dr Natalia Karpukhina, Dental Physical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
Dr Eileen Gentleman, Department of Craniofacial Development & Orthodontics, King's College, London, UK
Prof. Hamdy Doweidar, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt
Dr David G Gillam, Centre for Adult Oral Health, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK