Regenerative therapies aim to develop novel treatments to restore tissue function. Several strategies have been investigated including the use of biomedical implants as three-dimensional artificial matrices to fill the defect side, to replace damaged tissues or for drug delivery. Bioactive implants are used to provide growth environments for tissue formation for a variety of applications including nerve, lung, skin and orthopaedic tissues. Implants can either be biodegradable or non-degradable, should be nontoxic and biocompatible, and should not trigger an immunological response. Implants can be designed to provide suitable surface area-to-volume ratios, ranges of porosities, pore interconnectivities and adequate mechanical strengths. Due to their broad range of properties, numerous biomaterials have been used for implant manufacture. To enhance an implant’s bioactivity, materials can be functionalised in several ways, including surface modification using proteins, incorporation of bioactive drugs, growth factors and/or cells. These strategies have been employed to create local bioactive microenvironments to direct cellular responses and to promote tissue regeneration and controlled drug release. This chapter provides an overview of current bioactive biomedical implants, their fabrication and applications, as well as implant materials used in drug delivery and tissue regeneration. Additionally, cell- and drug-based bioactivity, manufacturing considerations and future trends will be discussed.
Part of the book: Biomaterials