Bioactive glasses incorporating less-common ions to improve biological and physical properties

Pantulap U, Arango Ospina M, Boccaccini AR (2022)

Publication Type: Journal article, Review article

Publication year: 2022


Book Volume: 33

Journal Issue: 1

DOI: 10.1007/s10856-021-06626-3


Bioactive glasses (BGs) have been a focus of research for over five decades for several biomedical applications. Although their use in bone substitution and bone tissue regeneration has gained important attention, recent developments have also seen the expansion of BG applications to the field of soft tissue engineering. Hard and soft tissue repair therapies can benefit from the biological activity of metallic ions released from BGs. These metallic ions are incorporated in the BG network not only for their biological therapeutic effects but also in many cases for influencing the structure and processability of the glass and to impart extra functional properties. The "classical" elements in silicate BG compositions are silicon (Si), phosphorous (P), calcium (Ca), sodium (Na), and potassium (K). In addition, other well-recognized biologically active ions have been incorporated in BGs to provide osteogenic, angiogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects such as zinc (Zn), magnesium (Mg), silver (Ag), strontium (Sr), gallium (Ga), fluorine (F), iron (Fe), cobalt (Co), boron (B), lithium (Li), titanium (Ti), and copper (Cu). More recently, rare earth and other elements considered less common or, some of them, even "exotic" for biomedical applications, have found room as doping elements in BGs to enhance their biological and physical properties. For example, barium (Ba), bismuth (Bi), chlorine (Cl), chromium (Cr), dysprosium (Dy), europium (Eu), gadolinium (Gd), ytterbium (Yb), thulium (Tm), germanium (Ge), gold (Au), holmium (Ho), iodine (I), lanthanum (La), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), nickel (Ni), niobium (Nb), nitrogen (N), palladium (Pd), rubidium (Rb), samarium (Sm), selenium (Se), tantalum (Ta), tellurium (Te), terbium (Tb), erbium (Er), tin (Sn), tungsten (W), vanadium (V), yttrium (Y) as well as zirconium (Zr) have been included in BGs. These ions have been found to be particularly interesting for enhancing the biological performance of doped BGs in novel compositions for tissue repair (both hard and soft tissue) and for providing, in some cases, extra functionalities to the BG, for example fluorescence, luminescence, radiation shielding, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. This review summarizes the influence of incorporating such less-common elements in BGs with focus on tissue engineering applications, usually exploiting the bioactivity of the BG in combination with other functional properties imparted by the presence of the added elements.

Authors with CRIS profile

How to cite


Pantulap, U., Arango Ospina, M., & Boccaccini, A.R. (2022). Bioactive glasses incorporating less-common ions to improve biological and physical properties. Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine, 33(1).


Pantulap, Usanee, Marcela Arango Ospina, and Aldo R. Boccaccini. "Bioactive glasses incorporating less-common ions to improve biological and physical properties." Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine 33.1 (2022).

BibTeX: Download