Bioactive hydrogels for bone regeneration

Xin Bai, Mingzhu Gao, Sahla Syed, Jerry Zhuang, Xiaoyang Xu, Xue Qing Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

389 Scopus citations


Bone self-healing is limited and generally requires external intervention to augment bone repair and regeneration. While traditional methods for repairing bone defects such as autografts, allografts, and xenografts have been widely used, they all have corresponding disadvantages, thus limiting their clinical use. Despite the development of a variety of biomaterials, including metal implants, calcium phosphate cements (CPC), hydroxyapatite, etc., the desired therapeutic effect is not fully achieved. Currently, polymeric scaffolds, particularly hydrogels, are of interest and their unique configurations and tunable physicochemical properties have been extensively studied. This review will focus on the applications of various cutting-edge bioactive hydrogels systems in bone regeneration, as well as their advantages and limitations. We will examine the composition and defects of the bone, discuss the current biomaterials for bone regeneration, and classify recently developed polymeric materials for hydrogel synthesis. We will also elaborate on the properties of desirable hydrogels as well as the fabrication techniques and different delivery strategies. Finally, the existing challenges, considerations, and the future prospective of hydrogels in bone regeneration will be outlined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-417
Number of pages17
JournalBioactive Materials
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


  • Biomaterials
  • Bone regeneration
  • Hydrogel
  • Tissue engineering


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