Apatite-related calcium phosphate, the main component of biological hard tissue, has good biocompatibility and is an economical material. Methods for the synthesis of apatite materials including hydroxyapatite (HAp) have previously been established. Therefore, for many years, apatite materials have been utilized as substitute materials for bone in orthopedic and dental fields. Such types of conventional substitute materials, which are implanted in the human body, should ostensibly be chemically stable to maintain their quality over time. However, recent advances in tissue engineering have altered this concept. Physicians and researchers now seek to identify materials that alter their properties temporally and spatially to achieve ideal tissue regeneration. In order to use apatite materials for tissue engineering and as drug delivery systems, the materials require both a high affinity for cells, tissues and/or functional molecules (e.g. growth factors and genes) and controllable bioabsorbability. To achieve these properties, various physicochemical modifications of apatite materials have been attempted. In addition, fabrication desiring three-dimensional structures (e.g. size, morphology and porosity) of apatite materials for implant sites could be one of the crucial techniques used to obtain ideal prognoses. In this review, the latest research trends relating to the techniques for the fabrication and modification of apatite materials are introduced.
Keywords: Apatite, bone tissue engineering, cell therapy, molecular therapy, gene therapy, drug delivery system