Research on biomaterials has been growing in the last few years due to the clinical needs in organs and tissues replacement and regeneration. In addition, cancer nanomedicine has recently appeared as an effective means to combine nanotechnology developments towards a clinical application.
Ceramic materials are suitable candidates to be used in the manufacturing of bone-like scaffolds. Bioceramic materials may also be designed to deliver biologically active substances aimed at repairing, maintaining, restoring or improving the function of organs and tissues in the organism. Several materials such as calcium phosphates, glasses and glass ceramics able to load and subsequently release in a controlled fashion drugs, hormones, growth factors, peptides or nucleic acids have been developed. In particular, to prevent post surgical infections bioceramics may be surface modified and loaded with certain antibiotics, thus preventing the formation of bacterial biofilms. Remarkably, mesoporous bioactive glasses have shown excellent characteristics as drug carrying bone regeneration materials. These bioceramics are not only osteoconductive and osteoproductive, but also osteoinductive, and have therefore been proposed as ideal components for the fabrication of scaffolds for bone tissue engineering.
A recent promising development of bioceramic materials is related to the design of magnetic mediators against tumors. Magnetic composites are suitable thermoseeds for cancer treatment by hyperthermia. Moreover, magnetic nanomaterials offer a wide range of possibilities for diagnosis and therapy. These nanoparticles may be conjugated with therapeutic agents and heat the surrounding tissue under the action of alternating magnetic fields, enabling hyperthermia of cancer as an effective adjunct to chemotherapy regimens.