Biological activity

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In pharmacology, biological activity or pharmacological activity describes the beneficial or adverse effects of a drug on living matter. [1] [2] When a drug is a complex chemical mixture, this activity is exerted by the substance's active ingredient or pharmacophore but can be modified by the other constituents. Among the various properties of chemical compounds, pharmacological/biological activity plays a crucial role since it suggests uses of the compounds in the medical applications. However, chemical compounds may show some adverse and toxic effects which may prevent their use in medical practice.

Biological activity is usually measured by a bioassay and the activity is generally dosage-dependent, which is investigated via dose-response curves. Further, it is common to have effects ranging from beneficial to adverse for one substance when going from low to high doses. Activity depends critically on fulfillment of the ADME criteria. To be an effective drug, a compound not only must be active against a target, but also possess the appropriate ADME (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, and Excretion) properties necessary to make it suitable for use as a drug. [3] . Because of the costs of the measurement, biological activities are often predicted with computational methods, so-called QSAR models.

Bioactivity is a key property that promotes osseointegration for bonding and better stability of dental implants. [4] Bioglass coatings represent high surface area and reactivity leading to an effective interaction of the coating material and surrounding bone tissues. In the biological environment, the formation of a layer of carbonated hydroxyapatite (CHA) initiates bonding to the bone tissues. The bioglass surface coating undergoes leaching/exchange of ions, dissolution of glass, and formation of the HA layer that promotes cellular response of tissues. [5] The high specific surface area of bioactive glasses is likely to induce quicker solubility of the material, availability of ions in the surrounding area, and enhanced protein adsorption ability. These factors altogether contribute toward the bioactivity of bioglass coatings. In addition, tissue mineralization (bone, teeth) is promoted while tissue forming cells are in direct contact with bioglass materials.

Whereas a material is considered bioactive if it has interaction with or effect on any cell tissue in the human body, pharmacological activity is usually taken to describe beneficial effects, i.e. the effects of drug candidates as well as a substance's toxicity.

In the study of biomineralisation, bioactivity is often meant to mean the formation of calcium phosphate deposits on the surface of objects placed in simulated body fluid, a buffer solution with ion content similar to blood.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pharmacology</span> Branch of biology concerning drugs

Pharmacology is a branch of medicine, biology, and pharmaceutical sciences concerned with drug or medication action, where a drug may be defined as any artificial, natural, or endogenous molecule which exerts a biochemical or physiological effect on the cell, tissue, organ, or organism. It is the science of drugs including their origin, composition, pharmacokinetics, therapeutic use, and toxicology. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function. If substances have medicinal properties, they are considered pharmaceuticals.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pharmacodynamics</span> Area of Academic Study

Pharmacodynamics (PD) is the study of the biochemical and physiologic effects of drugs. The effects can include those manifested within animals, microorganisms, or combinations of organisms.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">ADME</span> Acronym for process of dispostion of pharmaceutical compounds

ADME is an abbreviation in pharmacokinetics and pharmacology for "absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion", and describes the disposition of a pharmaceutical compound within an organism. The four criteria all influence the drug levels and kinetics of drug exposure to the tissues and hence influence the performance and pharmacological activity of the compound as a drug. Sometimes, liberation and/or toxicity are also considered, yielding LADME, ADMET, or LADMET.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Biocompatibility</span> Biologically compatible substance

Biocompatibility is related to the behavior of biomaterials in various contexts. The term refers to the ability of a material to perform with an appropriate host response in a specific situation. The ambiguity of the term reflects the ongoing development of insights into how biomaterials interact with the human body and eventually how those interactions determine the clinical success of a medical device. Modern medical devices and prostheses are often made of more than one material so it might not always be sufficient to talk about the biocompatibility of a specific material. Even the same materials, such as diamond-like carbon coatings, may show different levels of biocompatibility based on the manufacturing conditions and characteristics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hydroxyapatite</span> Naturally occurring mineral form of calcium apatite

Hydroxyapatite, also called hydroxylapatite (HA), is a naturally occurring mineral form of calcium apatite with the formula Ca5(PO4)3(OH), but it is usually written Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2 to denote that the crystal unit cell comprises two entities. Hydroxyapatite is the hydroxyl endmember of the complex apatite group. The OH ion can be replaced by fluoride, chloride or carbonate, producing fluorapatite or chlorapatite. It crystallizes in the hexagonal crystal system. Pure hydroxyapatite powder is white. Naturally occurring apatites can, however, also have brown, yellow, or green colorations, comparable to the discolorations of dental fluorosis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bioglass 45S5</span>

Bioglass 45S5 or calcium sodium phosphosilicate, is a bioactive glass specifically composed of 45 wt% SiO2, 24.5 wt% CaO, 24.5 wt% Na2O, and 6.0 wt% P2O5. Typical applications of Bioglass 45S5 include: bone grafting biomaterials, repair of periodontal defects, cranial and maxillofacial repair, wound care, blood loss control, stimulation of vascular regeneration, and nerve repair.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bioactive glass</span>

Bioactive glasses are a group of surface reactive glass-ceramic biomaterials and include the original bioactive glass, Bioglass. The biocompatibility and bioactivity of these glasses has led them to be used as implant devices in the human body to repair and replace diseased or damaged bones. Most bioactive glasses are silicate based glasses that are degradable in body fluids and can act as a vehicle for delivering ions beneficial for healing. Bioactive glass is differentiated from other synthetic bone grafting biomaterials, in that it is the only one with anti-infective and angiogenic properties.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bone grafting</span> Bone transplant

Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that replaces missing bone in order to repair bone fractures that are extremely complex, pose a significant health risk to the patient, or fail to heal properly. Some small or acute fractures can be cured without bone grafting, but the risk is greater for large fractures like compound fractures.

A structural analog, also known as a chemical analog or simply an analog, is a compound having a structure similar to that of another compound, but differing from it in respect to a certain component.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Biomaterial</span> Any substance that has been engineered to interact with biological systems for a medical purpose

A biomaterial is a substance that has been engineered to interact with biological systems for a medical purpose, either a therapeutic or a diagnostic one. As a science, biomaterials is about fifty years old. The study of biomaterials is called biomaterials science or biomaterials engineering. It has experienced steady and strong growth over its history, with many companies investing large amounts of money into the development of new products. Biomaterials science encompasses elements of medicine, biology, chemistry, tissue engineering and materials science.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Osteostimulation</span>

Osteostimulation is a technique attempted for improving healing of bone injuries or defects. It has not however been found to be significantly effective in increasing bone healing.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bioceramic</span>

Bioceramics and bioglasses are ceramic materials that are biocompatible. Bioceramics are an important subset of biomaterials. Bioceramics range in biocompatibility from the ceramic oxides, which are inert in the body, to the other extreme of resorbable materials, which are eventually replaced by the body after they have assisted repair. Bioceramics are used in many types of medical procedures. Bioceramics are typically used as rigid materials in surgical implants, though some bioceramics are flexible. The ceramic materials used are not the same as porcelain type ceramic materials. Rather, bioceramics are closely related to either the body's own materials or are extremely durable metal oxides.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Artificial bone</span>

Artificial bone refers to bone-like material created in a laboratory that can be used in bone grafts, to replace human bone that was lost due to severe fractures, disease, etc.

Octacalcium phosphate (sometimes referred to as OCP) is a form of calcium phosphate with formula Ca8H2(PO4)6·5H2O. OCP may be a precursor to tooth enamel, dentine, and bones. OCP is a precursor of hydroxyapatite (HA), an inorganic biomineral that is important in bone growth. OCP has garnered lots of attention due to its inherent biocompatibility. While OCP exhibits good properties in terms of bone growth, very stringent synthesis requirements make it difficult for mass productions, but nevertheless has shown promise not only in-vitro, but also in in-vivo clinical case studies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Surface modification of biomaterials with proteins</span>

Biomaterials are materials that are used in contact with biological systems. Biocompatibility and applicability of surface modification with current uses of metallic, polymeric and ceramic biomaterials allow alteration of properties to enhance performance in a biological environment while retaining bulk properties of the desired device.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Titanium biocompatibility</span>

Titanium was first introduced into surgeries in the 1950s after having been used in dentistry for a decade prior. It is now the metal of choice for prosthetics, internal fixation, inner body devices, and instrumentation. Titanium is used from head to toe in biomedical implants. One can find titanium in neurosurgery, bone conduction hearing aids, false eye implants, spinal fusion cages, pacemakers, toe implants, and shoulder/elbow/hip/knee replacements along with many more. The main reason why titanium is often used in the body is due to titanium's biocompatibility and, with surface modifications, bioactive surface. The surface characteristics that affect biocompatibility are surface texture, steric hindrance, binding sites, and hydrophobicity (wetting). These characteristics are optimized to create an ideal cellular response. Some medical implants, as well as parts of surgical instruments are coated with titanium nitride (TiN).

Materials that are used for biomedical or clinical applications are known as biomaterials. The following article deals with fifth generation biomaterials that are used for bone structure replacement. For any material to be classified for biomedical applications, three requirements must be met. The first requirement is that the material must be biocompatible; it means that the organism should not treat it as a foreign object. Secondly, the material should be biodegradable ; the material should harmlessly degrade or dissolve in the body of the organism to allow it to resume natural functioning. Thirdly, the material should be mechanically sound; for the replacement of load-bearing structures, the material should possess equivalent or greater mechanical stability to ensure high reliability of the graft.

Up to now, various methods have been developed for the synthesis of bioglass, its composites, and other bioactive glasses, including conventional melt quench, sol–gel, flame synthesis and microwave irradiation. Bioglass synthesis has been reviewed by various groups. In this section we will majorly focus on sol-gel synthesis of bioglass composites, which is the highly efficient technique for bioglass composites for tissue engineering applications.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Surface chemistry of neural implants</span>

As with any material implanted in the body, it is important to minimize or eliminate foreign body response and maximize effectual integration. Neural implants have the potential to increase the quality of life for patients with such disabilities as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, epilepsy, depression, and migraines. With the complexity of interfaces between a neural implant and brain tissue, adverse reactions such as fibrous tissue encapsulation that hinder the functionality, occur. Surface modifications to these implants can help improve the tissue-implant interface, increasing the lifetime and effectiveness of the implant.

Bioactive glass S53P4 (BAG-S53P4) is a biomaterial consisting of sodium, silicate, calcium and phosphate. S53P4 is osteoconductive and also osteoproductive in the promotion, migration, replication and differentiation of osteogenic cells and their matrix production. In other words, it facilitates bone formation and regeneration (osteostimulation). S53P4 has been proven to also naturally inhibit the bacterial growth of up to 50 clinically relevant bacteria strains.


  1. Etymology: Gk, bios, life; L, activus, with energy, Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.
  2. Miller-Keane Encyclopedia & Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc.
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