Nanostructured bioactive glasses: A bird's eye view on cancer therapy

Saeid Kargozar, Amirhossein Moghanian, Ali Rashvand, Amir K. Miri, Sepideh Hamzehlou, Francesco Baino, Masoud Mozafari, Andrew Z. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Bioactive glasses (BGs) arewell known for their successful applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Recent experimental studies have shown their potential usability in oncology, either alone or in combination with other biocompatible materials, such as biopolymers. Direct contact with BG particles has been found to cause toxicity and death in specific cancer cells (bone-derived neoplastic stromal cells) in vitro. Nanostructured BGs (NBGs) can be doped with anticancer elements, such as gallium, to enhance their toxic effects against tumor cells. However, the molecular mechanisms and intracellular targets for anticancer compositions of NBGs require further clarification. NBGs have been successfully evaluated for use in various well-established cancer treatment strategies, including cancer hyperthermia, phototherapy, and anticancer drug delivery. Existing results indicate that NBGs not only enhance cancer cell death, but can also participate in the regeneration of lost healthy tissues. However, the application of NBGs in oncology is still in its early stages, and numerous unanswered questions must be addressed. For example, the impact of the composition, biodegradation, size, and morphology of NBGs on their anticancer efficacy should be defined for each type of cancer and treatment strategy. Moreover, it should be more clearly assessed whether NBGs can shrink tumors, slow/stop cancer progression, or cure cancer completely. In this regard, the use of computational studies (in silico methods) is highly recommended to design the most effective glass formulations for cancer therapy approaches and to predict, to some extent, the relevant properties, efficacy, and outcomes. This article is categorized under: Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanomaterials and Implants Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanotechnology in Tissue Repair and Replacement Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Nanomedicine for Oncologic Disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1905
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


  • cancer therapy
  • drug delivery
  • hyperthermia
  • nanostructured bioactive glass
  • oncology
  • photothermal therapy
  • tissue engineering


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