Ceramics are mineral products obtained by high temperature sintering that have specific physical and chemical properties. Bioceramics are inorganic, biocompatible sintered materials. They are, therefore, perfectly suitable for using with living vertebrates because they do not cause any undesirable, organic reactions, such as inflammatory, immunological and other processes, eliminating the risk of infectious and contagious diseases, amongst other things.
Research is continuing into several types of biomaterials, especially calcium phosphate bioceramics, and these are being used more and more in tissue reconstruction and recomposition procedures. This is a consequence of their characteristics and properties, especially their biocompatibility, osteoconductibility, intrinsic osteoinductibility, osteophilic properties and also for their structural, physical and chemical similarity to bone mineral matrix.
These bioceramics do not induce any undesirable immunological or toxic reactions, unlike other materials such as, for example, those of organic origin. There is no risk of the transmission of any infectious and contagious pathologies, and no risk of protein degradation. This is because of their characteristics and because the way that they are obtained, under rigidly and systematically controlled conditions in compliance with the required standards, what means that they have a high level of purity.
There is a large variety of calcium phosphate materials available on the market for medical, dental and veterinary uses, and their physical and chemical characteristics and properties induce specific biological responses. These products need to be correctly prescribed and used.
The most recent generation of bioceramics is a porous micro-macro biphasic ß-tricalcium phosphate (βTCP) and Hydroxyapatite (HA) product. These compounds together provide, in a balanced way, two important phases for a filling material: the more soluble phase of the 2nd generation βTCP bioceramics and the more stable phase of the 1st generation HA bioceramics, thus setting this product apart from the others that are available, as the most effective material for bone tissue reconstruction. It also offers other associated properties: intercommunicating macropores, in the 50µ to 400µ range, which induce a more effective organic reaction, strong bonding and intrinsic tissue growth, intercommunicating micropores (that also communicate with the macropores) in the 1µ to 10µ range, which increase tissue contact, solubility and the capacity for exchange with organic liquids, as well as intermediate 10µ to 50µ pores.
This porous architectural structure ensures that this bioceramics material is an efficient, important vehicle for carrying and liberating drugs and other substances over a specific period. Likewise, its surface topography enables osteoblastic metabolic activity and the desirable expression of the correct phenotypes for every stage in tissue neoformation phenomena.