Glass - Back to the Future!



Presenting Author:
Julian Jones
<Julian.R.Jones@imperial.ac.uk>

article posted 5 April 2016


Julian R. Jones is a Professor of Biomaterials at Imperial College London, UK and Visiting Professor at Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan. He graduated in Materials Science from the University of Oxford in 1999 and obtained his PhD (under Professor Larry Hench’s supervision) from Imperial College London in 2002. In 2004 he obtained a Faculty position through being awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering/EPSRC Research Fellowship. He has more than 100 articles. In 2015 he was elevated to Fellow of the American Ceramics Society. In 2014 he was awarded the Vittorio Gottardi Award from the International Commission on Glass (ICG) for outstanding achievements in glass research and the Robert L. Coble Award (American Ceramics Society) in 2010. He is chair of the ICG’s biomedical glass technical committee (TC04).






Bioglass and bioactive glass scaffolds: foams v 3D printed

Julian R Jones1, Amy Nommeots-Nomm1, Aine Devlin2, Naomi Todd2, Xiaomeng Shi1, Hua Geng3, Christopher A. Mitchell2 & Peter D. Lee3
1 Department of Materials, Imperial College London, UK
2 Centre for Molecular Biosciences, University of Ulster, UK
3 School of Materials, University of Manchester, UK


Hench’s Bioglass particulate (NovaBone®) has now been used in more than 1 million patients. Benefits over bioactive ceramics is the controlled delivery of active ions, providing osteostimulation. We have developed bioactive glass foams from sol-gel (originally developed with Hench) and melt-derived routes with interconnected pore networks similar to porous bone. Our in vivo studies compare sol-gel and gel cast foamed melt-quenched glass scaffolds to NovaBone and Actifuse® (porous Si-HA). The results show that bone regeneration is dependent on the dissolution rate (glass type and composition). Bone ingrowth was quantified through histology and novel micro-CT image analysis. The percentage bone ingrowth into preconditioned sol-gel 70S30C scaffolds was similar to commercial NovaBone and Actifuse. Unlike the commercial products, pre-conditioned sol-gel scaffolds degraded and were replaced with new bone. Melt-quenched glass foam scaffolds, of certain compositions, stimulated more bone ingrowth than has been seen in porous bioceramics even though in vitro studies showed low rate of apatite formation in simulated body fluid. 3-D printing of these compositions is possible through Robocasting and the 3D printed channels may improve bone ingrowth over the tortuous pores of the foams.

Bioactive glass foam scaffolds
(a) Glass foam


(b) Sol-gel foam regenerating a rat tibia at 11 weeks


(c) 3D printed bioactive glass