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Bone tissue engineering combines cells and a biodegradable 3D scaffold to repair diseased or dented bone tissue. Challenges are lay down by the design and fabrication of the synthetic tissue scaffold and the engineering of tissue constructs in vitro and in vivo. In bone tissue engineering, bioactive glasses and related bioactive composite materials represent promising scaffolding materials. In this paper, we present state-of-the-art fabrication technologies for a variety of bone tissue engineering scaffolds discussing their microstructure and pertinent properties. The spotlight is in the development of synthetic scaffolds based on bioactive glasses and their polymeric composites, together with 45S5 Bioglass®, Bioglass®-poly(lactic acid) and Bioglass®-poly(hydroxylalkanoate) composites. Research has recently developed further a number of scaffold fabrication techniques, including foam replication technique, thermally induced phase separation, textile and foam coating methods and biomimetic approaches to optimise scaffold structure and properties. Among these techniques, the foam replication method to produce highly porous, biodegradable and mechanically competent Bioglass®-derived glass-ceramic scaffolds is highlighted as one of the most promising technologies because of its potential in addressing basic scaffold requirements as well as the vascularisation issue. The enhancement of scaffold properties and functions by surface modification of the basic pore network, both its chemistry and topography, is also discussed. Finally, limitations of presently developed bone tissue constructs are summarized and future directions of research are discussed.
bioactive glasses, glass-ceramics, scaffolds, bone tissue engineering, composites, angiogenesis, #