Special Applications of Bioactive Glasses in Otology and Ophthalmology

  • Francesco BainoEmail author
  • Isabel Potestio
Part of the Advanced Structured Materials book series (STRUCTMAT, volume 53)


The invention of bioactive glasses (please consult the Editor’s note in order to clarify the usage of the terms bioglass, bioactive glass and biocompatible glasses) more than 45 years ago posed the basis of modern regenerative medicine introducing the concept that a material implanted in the body can not only form a tight bond with living tissues but also stimulate the growth of new healthy tissue. Bioactive glasses are traditionally used for the repair, reconstruction and augmentation of hard tissues in orthopaedics and dentistry due to their ability to create a tight interface with calcified tissues. Most studies on bioactive glasses and glass-ceramics have been focused on their use in these two clinical fields, however some emerging applications are arising in other medical areas. In fact, available literature indicates that bioactive glasses are able to bond to soft tissues, too, and can exhibit an additional range of highly attractive properties (e.g. angiogenesis, antibacterial effect) which could expand dramatically their potential and impact in science and medicine. This chapter reviews the special applications of bioactive glasses in otology (substitution of middle ear ossicles, cochlear implants, mastoid cavity obliteration) and ocular surgery (orbital implants, artificial cornea, orbital floor repair), in which the ability to bond to soft tissues is a fundamental property. A comprehensive picture of the existing devices for such applications is presented as well as a prospect for the future, with the aim of providing useful stimuli for further research in these two fascinating and crucial areas for patient’s life quality.


Bioglass Bioactivity Tissue engineering Angiogenesis Antibacterial 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Applied Science and Technology Department, Institute of Materials Physics and EngineeringPolitecnico di TorinoTurinItaly

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