The synthesis of complex inorganic forms, which are based on natural structures that can mimic the natural scaffold upon which the cells are seeded, offers an exciting range of avenues for the construction of a new generation of bone analogs for tissue engineering. The production and use of synthetic calcium phosphate bioceramics based on the coralline structure as bone grafts in orthopedics is considered. Recent advances in the production and use of natural bioceramics for application in hard and soft tissue replacements are discussed. An improved understanding of currently used bioceramics in human implants and in bone replacement materials could contribute significantly to the design of new generation prostheses and post-operative patient management strategies. Issues affecting the use of different materials in vivo are outlined. A variety of other natural alternatives including newly developed sol-gel coated coralline apatite is evaluated, and reviewed. Several treatments for improving performance are outlined, and speculation on future advances, including the combination of traditional bioceramic implants with natural biogenic additives is made.
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- Biomimetics and Bioceramics
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