Laser-Assisted processing of CaSiO3-Ca3(PO4)2 bioactive eutectic glasses and glass-ceramics for functional applications

Daniel J. Sola. Chapter in Bioactive Glasses and Glass-Ceramics: Fundamentals and Applications 2022. Pages 341 - 373

Bioactive glasses have drawn a strong interest for biomedical applications since the development of the first bioactive glass in the late 1960s. They have been used in a broad variety of research fields, such as hard and soft tissue engineering, as scaffold in bone regeneration, and in dental and orthopedic applications. Typical chemical compositions of these materials include phosphosilicate, borate, and phosphate. The binary system CaSiO3/Ca3(PO4)2 is particularly interesting since the eutectic composite has the ability to develop in situ a porous hydroxyapatite-like structure when soaked in simulated body fluid or implanted into a living body. This chapter is devoted to revise the utilization of the laser radiation as the main tool to fabricate, characterize, and process CaSiO3-Ca3(PO4)2 eutectic glass-ceramics and glasses. In the first place, the basics of the laser floating zone (LFZ) method are introduced. This technique has been utilized to fabricate most of the samples presented in the following sections. Next, laser spectroscopy and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) are used to characterize rare-earth doped glasses and glass-ceramics, and to monitor the formation of hydroxyapatite porous layers. Finally, short-and ultra-short laser radiations have been used to machine glass and glass-ceramic samples to induce a controlled 3D porous structure, and to fabricate integrated photonic devices, specifically, buried waveguides.