Design of calcium phosphate ceramics for drug delivery applications in bone diseases: A review of the parameters affecting the loading and release of the therapeutic substance

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Effective treatment of critical-size defects is a key challenge in restorative surgery of bone. The strategy covers the implantation of biocompatible, osteoconductive, bioactive and biodegradable devices which (1) well interact with native tissue, mimic multi-dimensional and hierarchical structure of bone and (2) are able to enhance bone repair, treating post implantation pathologies or bone diseases by local delivery of therapeutic agents. Among different options, calcium phosphate biomaterials are found to be attractive choices, due to their excellent biocompatibility, customisable bioactivity and biodegradability. Several approaches have been established to enhance this material ability to be loaded with a therapeutic agent, in order to obtain an in situ controlled release that meets the clinical needs. This article reviews the most important factors influencing on both drug loading and release capacity of porous calcium phosphate bone substitutes. Characteristics of the carrier, drug/carrier interactions, experimental conditions of drug loading and evaluation of drug delivery are considered successively.

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