Division of Bioceramics

FacultyServices Projects PublicationsResearch Staff

About the Division

The Division of Bioceramics of the Biomedical Technology Wing, SCTIMST, had been established in 1994 as a dedicated laboratory aiming at the indigenous development of bioceramic materials for bone graft applications.

The research area of Bioceramics mainly focuses on providing material solutions for bone defect repair. Bioceramics research originated globally during the mid-1970s when techniques were devised for converting synthetic hydroxyapatite (the bone mineral) to porous ceramic form suitable for bone defect filling in orthopedic surgery. Hydroxyapatite ceramics were proved to get resorbed physiologically and help the healing of the host bone in the natural way. Osteoconductive compounds containing silicate and calcium minerals, better known as ‘bioactive glasses’, were invented subsequently. Bioactive glasses became popular, as they had improved resorption and healing properties. Next generation materials for bone graft substitute were self-setting bioactive bone cements and mouldable polymer-bioceramic composites. The research and development activities in Bioceramics area generated a wide range of graft substitute products useful in managing bone defects arising out of trauma, cysts and tumors. Of recent, scientists are engaged in the development of scaffolds for bone tissue engineering.

The Division of Bioceramics has developed indigenously the know-how of making hydroxyapatite ceramics, novel bioactive glass, various bioactive composites and calcium phosphate based bone cements. These were made into different shapes, forms and formulations according to the surgeons’ requirement and proven clinically. The R&D activities in the division has realised a series of bone graft substitute products in Indian market, complying with International standards. Basic research on novel bone graft materials and R&D programs on new products are ongoing.

Facilities in the Division
  1. Characterization of bioceramics and bioactive glasses
  2. a. Phase analysis using X-Ray Diffractometry and FTIR
    b. Micromorphological analysis using SEM
    c. Microhardness and mechanical strength measurement
    d. Chemical composition and trace element estimation
  3. Electron Microscopy Facility
    a. Scanning Electron Microscopy and EDS analysis
    b. Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy
    c. Transmission Electron Microscope
  4. Ceramic Coating Facility
    a. Plasma spray coating of bioceramics
    b. Pulsed laser coating of bioceramics
    C. Vapour deposition coatings of TiN and DLC
Test Services offered (Through Customer Service Cell)
  1. X-Ray Powder Diffraction
  2. Scanning Electron Microscopy and EDS analysis
  3. Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy
  4. Transmission Electron Microscopy
  5. Microhardness Measurement
  6. Atomic Emission Spectroscopy ( OES-ICP)

Product Development and Technology Transfer activity

During the past decade, the following technologies were transferred :

  1. Hydroxyapatite ceramic granules for orthopedic and dental applications [multiple licensing],
  2. Bioactive composite ceramics for dental applications [multiple licensing],
  3. Injectable calcium phosphate cement for dental applications,
  4. Bioactive composite ceramics for orthopaedic applications,
  5. Calcium sulfate cement, and
  6. Hydroxyapatite and Tricalcium phosphate ceramics.

The Companies are :

  1. TopNotch, Aluva, Kerala ;
  2. Basic HealthCare, Chandigarh;
  3. ( Dorthom Medidents, Coimbatore;
  4. IFGL Bioceramics, Calcutta;
  5. G Surgiwear, Shajahanpur;
  6. Onyx Medicals, Meerut;
  7. Prevest DenPro, Jammu.

Projects (Past 10 years)
  1. "Biomimetic Processing of inorganic –organic composites for biomedical applications", DST (INDO –Japanese S&T Cooperation Joint Project) PIs: Dr.H.K.Varma and Prof.Y.Yokogawa, City University of Osaka, Osaka, Japan. 1. "Biomimetic Processing of inorganic –organic composites for biomedical applications", DST (INDO –Japanese S&T Cooperation Joint Project) PIs: Dr.H.K.Varma and Prof.Y.Yokogawa, City University of Osaka, Osaka, Japan.
  2. "Pilot level production of Bioactive Composite Granules for Dental Application" (PI: Dr.H.K.Varma), as a consultancy for DORTHOM Medi Dents Pvt Ltd., Coimbatore.
  3. "Testing and Optimization of Bioactive Ceramic Products" (PI: Dr.H.K.Varma), as a consultancy for Basic Healthcare Products Pvt. Ltd, Chandigarh
  4. "Pulsed Laser Coating of Bioactive Ceramic Composite on Titanium Bone Implants" (PI : Dr.H.K.Varma, Co-PI : Dr.Manoj Komath), SRS Project of Kerala State Council for Science, Technology & Environment.
  5. "Development Of Calcium Sulfate Based Injectable Bone Substitute" (PI : Dr.Manoj Komath, Co-PI : Dr.H.K.Varma) SERC Project of Dept of Science and Technology.
  6. "Synthesis of oxide based magnetic nanoparticles for biocompatibility studies, magnetic hyperthermia and MRI applications" (PI at SCTIMST : Dr.H.K.Varma and PI at IIT-Chennai : Prof.Ramachandra Rao), SERC Project of Dept of Science and Technology, with IIT Chennai collaboration.
  7. "Bioactive Inter-Vertebral Spacers for Lumbar Fusion" (PI: Manoj Komath), Technical Research Center (SCTIMST-TRC) funding.
  8. "Bioactive Material Platform for Drug Delivery in Bone" (PI: Dr.Harikrishna Varma), Technical Research Center (SCTIMST-TRC) funding.
  9. "Scaffolds Based on Self-assembling Peptide Dendrimers and Resorbable Calcium Phosphates for Endodontic Tissue Regeneration" (Project Co-ordinator : Dr.Manoj Komath), DBT (Task Force in Bioengibneering)
  10. "Programme Support on Translational Research on Biomaterials for Orthopaedic and Dental Applications" (PI at SCTIMST : Dr.H.K.Varma and PI at IISc Bangalore : Prof.Bikramjit Basu) DBT Center of Excellence Program (IISc Collaboration).
  11. "Bioceramic cages with axially aligned pores as a tricortical bone graft substitute" (PI: Manoj Komath), Technical Research Center (SCTIMST-TRC) funding.

Publications - Papers published in International Journals (last decade )
  1. Rajesh P, Muraleedharan CV, Komath M, Varma HK. Pulsed laser deposition of hydroxyapatite on titanium substrate with titania interlayer. J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2011; 22:497-505.
  2. Sureshbabu S, Komath M, Shibli SMA, Varma HK. Biomimetic deposition of hydroxyapatite on titanium with help of sol–gel grown calcium pyrophosphate prelayer. Materials Research Innovations. 2011; 15: 178-184.
  3. Sailaja GS, Ramesh P, Varma HK. Effect of surface functionalization on the physicomechanical properties of a novel biofunctional copolymer. J Appl Poly Sci. 2011; 121: 3509–15.
  4. Rajesh P, Muraleedharan CV, Komath M, Varma HK. Laser surface modification of titanium substrate for pulsed laser deposition of highly adherent hydroxyapatite. J Mater Sci. Mater Med. 2011; 22: 1671–1679.
  5. Rajesh P, Muraleedharan CV, Sureshbabu S, Komath M, Varma HK. Preparation and analysis of chemically gradient functional bioceramic coating formed by pulsed laser deposition. J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2011; 23 : 339-348
  6. Krishnan V, Krishnan A, Remya R, Ravikumar KK, Nair AS, Shibili SMA, Sukumaran K, Kumar K J and Varma HK. Development and evaluation of two PVD coated beta titanium orthodontic archwires for fluoride induced corrosion protection, Acta Biomaterialia. 2011; 7 : 1913-1927.
  7. Velayudhan S, Ramesh P, Varma HK. Mechanical properties of hydroxyapatite filled ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer: effect of particle size and morphology. J Applied Polymer Science, 2011; 119: 1594-1601.
  8. Komath M, Rajesh P, Muraleedharan CV, Varma HK, Reshmi R and Jayaraj MK. Formation of hydroxyapatite coating on titanium at 200◦C through pulsed laser deposition followed by hydrothermal treatment: Bull Mater Sci. 2011; 34: 389-399.
  9. John A, Mani S, Gopalakrishna S, Sureshbabu S, Lal AV and Varma HK. Osteogenesis of a bioactive ceramic- calcium phosphosilicate composite system in goat femur defect, Applied Ceramic Techinology. 2011 ; 8: 491-500.
  10. Nair MB, Varma HK, Mohan PV and John A. Tissue engineered triphasic ceramic coated hydroxyapatite induces bone formation and vascularization at an extraskeletal site in a rat model. Bull Mater Sci. 2011; 34: 1-11.
  11. Sureshbabu S, Komath M, Varma HK. In situ formation of hydroxyapatite -alpha tricalcium phosphate biphasic ceramics with higher strength and bioactivity. J Amer Ceram Soc. 2012; 95: 915–924.
  12. Ansar E B, Ajeesh M, Yokogawa Y, Wunderlich W, Varma HK. Synthesis and characterization of iron oxide embedded hydroxyapatite bioceramics, J Am Ceram Soc. 2012; 95:2695–2699.
  13. Manoj MK, Francis J, Varma HK, Sreeganesh K, Iliac crest graft site reconstruction using Chitra-HABG bone blocks: A prospective study, Kerala Journal of Orthopaedics, 2012 ; 25 : 65-67.
  14. Elayaraja K, Rajesh P, Joshy M I A, Chandra SV, Suganthi RV, Kennedy J, Kulriya PK, Sulania I, Asokan K, Kanjilal D, Avasthi DK, Varma HK, Kalkura NS. Enhancement of wettability and antibiotic loading/release of hydroxyapatite thin film modified by 100 MeV Ag7+ ion irradiation, Materials Chemistry and Physics, 2012; 134: 464–477.
  15. Sandhya S, Sureshbabu S, Varma HK, Komath M. Nucleation kinetics of the formation of low dimensional calcium sulfate dihydrate crystals in isopropyl alcohol medium. Crystal Research and Technology, 2012; 47 :780- 792.
  16. Padmaja PN, Vinitha SM, Sinha AK, Varma HK. High surface area sol–gel nano silica as a novel drug carrier substrate for sustained drug release. Materials Research Bulletin. 2012 ; 47: 1379–1384.
  17. Yokogawa Y, Sakanishi M, Morikawa N, Nakamura A, Kishida I, Varma HK, VSC Adsorptive properties in ion exchanged zeolite materials in gaseous and aqueous medium. Procedia Engineering. 2012 ; 36 :168–172.
  18. Mohan B, Suresh Babu S, Varma HK and John A. In vitro evaluation of bioactive strontium-based ceramic with rabbit adipose-derived stem cells for bone tissue regeneration. Mater Sci: Mater Med. 2013; 24: 2831–2844.
  19. Beena GM, Sachin JS, Sureshbabu S, Varma HK, John A, Strontium calcium phosphate for the repair of leporine (Oryctolagus cuniculus) ulna segmental defect: J Biomedical Materials Research Part A. 2013; 101A : 261–271.
  20. Rajesh P, Mohan N, Yokogawa Y, Varma HK. Pulsed laser deposition of hydroxyapatite on nanostructured titanium towards drug eluting implants. Materials Science and Engineering C. 2013; 33: 2899-904.
  21. Nampi PP, Kartha CC, Jose G, Anilkumar PR, Anilkumar T, Varma HK. Sol-gel nanoporous silica as substrate for immobilization of conjugated biomolecules for application as fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) based biosensor. Sensors and Actuators B Chemical. 2013; 185: 252-257.
  22. Simon D, Manuel S, Varma HK, Novel nanoporous bioceramic spheres for drug delivery application: A preliminary in vitro investigation. Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology. 2013; 115: 7-14.
  23. Remya KR, Jasmin J, Mani S, John A, Varma HK, Ramesh P, Nanohydroxyapatite incorporated electrospun polycaprolactone/ polycaprolactone- polyethyleneglycol- poly caprolactone blend scaffold for bone tissue engineering applications, J Biomedical Nanotechnology, 2013; 9: 1483-1494.
  24. George MJ, Kumar A, Varughese JM, Varghese NO, Varma HK, Komath M, Periapical tissue reaction to calcium phosphate root canal sealer in porcine model, Indian Journal of Dental Research. 2014; 25: 22-27.
  25. Balakumar B, Sureshbabu, Varma HK, Madhuri V, Triphasic ceramic scaffold in paediatric and adolescent bone defects. J Pediatric Orthopaedics B. 2014; 23 : 187-195.
  26. Rajesh P, Anil S, Francis BF, John A, Varma HK. Pulsed laser deposition and in vitro characteristics of triphasic-HASi composition on titanium, J Biomaterials Applications 2014; 28: 849-858.
  27. Surendra MK, Annapoorani S, Ansar EB, Varma HK, Rao MSR. Magnetic hyperthermia studies on water-soluble polyacrylic acid-coated cobalt ferrite nanoparticles, J Nanopart Res. 2014; 16: 2773-2778.
  28. Sandhya S, Suresh Babu S, Nishad KV, Varma HK, Komath M, Development of an injectable bioactive bone filler cement with hydrogen orthophosphate incorporated calcium sulfate. J Mater Sci: Mater Med. 2015; 26: 5355
  29. Beeran AE, Fernandez FB, John A, Varma HK. Self-assembled superparamagnetic nanocomposite-labelled cells for noninvasive, controlled, targeted delivery and therapy, RSC Adv. 2015; 5: 36742-52
  30. Preethanath RS, Rajesh P, Varma HK, Anil S, Jansen JA, Beucken JJP. Combined treatment effects using bioactive coated implants and ceramic granulate in a rabbit femoral condyle model. Clinical Implant Dentistry and Related Research 2015. DOI 10.1111/cid.12358.
  31. Beeran AE, Fernandez FB, Nazeer SS, Jayasree RS ,John A, Anil S, Vellappally S, Al Kheraif AAA , Varma PRH. Multifunctional nano-manganese ferrite ferrofluid for efficient theranostic application. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 2015; 136: 1089-97
  32. Krishnan V, Bhatia A, Varma HK. Development, characterization and comparison of two strontium doped nano-hydroxyapatite molecules for enamel repair/regeneration. Dental Materials. 2016; 32: 646-659
  33. Sabareeswaran A, Ansar EB, Varma HK, Mohanan PV, Kumary TV. Effect of surface-modified superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONS) on mast cell infiltration: An acute in vivo study, Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine. 2016; 12 : 1523–1533.
  34. Beeran AE, Nazeer SS, Fernandez FB, Muvvala KS, Wunderlich W, Anil S. An aqueous method for the controlled manganese (Mn2+) substitution in superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles for contrast enhancement in MRI. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2015; 17: 4609-4619
  35. Sandhya S, Mohanan PV, Sabareeswaran A, Varma, HK and Manoj Komath, Preclinical safety and efficacy evaluation of ‘BioCaS’ bioactive calcium sulfate bone cement. Biomedical Materials 2017;12 :15022.
  36. Nishad KV, Sureshbabu S, Komath M, Unnikrishnan G, Synthesis and characterization of low dimensional bioactive monetite by solvent exchange method. Materials Letters. 2017;209:19.
  37. Komath M, Diamond-Like Carbon Coating for Corrosion Protection of Metallic Implants. Trends Biomater. Artif. Organs. 2017;31:131.
  38. Nimmy M, Rajesh P, Francis BF, Varma HK, Preparation of hydroxyapatite porous scaffold from a ‘coral-like’ synthetic inorganic precursor for use as a bone substitute and a drug delivery vehicle. Materials Science and Engineering: C. 2018;92: 329.
  39. Eva C. Das, Sameer D, Jisha B, PR Anil Kumar, Kumary TV , Haridas V , Komath M, Self-assembling polymeric dendritic peptide as functional osteogenic matrix for periodontal regeneration scaffolds. J Periodontal Res. 2019;54: 468.
  40. Eva C Das, Jisha B, Sameer D, Anil Kumar PR, Kumary TV, Haridas V, Komath M. Synthetic osteogenic matrix using polymeric dendritic peptides for treating human periodontal defects – design and in vitro evaluation. Materials Today: Proceedings. 2019;15:199.
  41. Ansar EB, Ravikumar K, Suresh Babu S, Fernandez , Komath M, Basu B, Varma HK. Inducing apatite pre-layer on titanium surface through hydrothermal processing for osseointegration, Mater Sci Eng C. Mater Biol Appl. 2019;26: 110019.
  42. Nishad KV, Komath M, Unnikrishnan G, Synthesis of strontium orthosilicate (Sr2SiO4) by sol-gel method for the use in endodontic cements to enhance bioactivity and radiocontrast. Mater. Res. Express. 2019;6:105401.
  43. Eva C Das, Kumary TV, Anil Kumar PR , Komath M, Calcium sulfate-based bioactive cement for periodontal regeneration: An in vitro study. Indian J Dent Res. 2019;30:558.
  44. Alex G. Varghese, Adarsh RK, Nishad KV, Komath M, In vitro evaluation of the enamel remineralization potential of a dentifrice containing nano calcium strontium apatite. Trends Biomater. Artif. Organs. 2019;33:56.
  45. Ananjana K, Swetha S, Prabha P, Nishad KV, Komath M, Nair BN , Sailaja GS, Aminoacid Inspired Tunable Superparamagntic Iron oxide (SPION) Nanostructures with High Magnetic Hyperthermia Potential. New J. Chemistry. 2020; 44: 1962.
  46. Reshma VG, Rajeev KS, Komath M, Mohanan PV, Water dispersible ZnSe/ZnS quantum dots: Assessment of cellular integration, toxicity and bio-distribution. J Photochemistry and Photobiology. B: Biology. 2020;212:112019.
  47. Athira RK, Gayathry G, Anil Kumar PR, Varma HK, Naresh Kasoju, Komath M, Hydroxyapatite cages with aligned pores for bone grafting - Seeding of human osteoblast-like cells in vitro and their response in dynamic culture mode, Ceramics International, Online, doi.org/10.1016/j.ceramint.2021.07.181
  48. Adarsh RK, Shamna NS, Arun S, Joseph R, Komath M, Porous membranes of quaternized chitosan composited with strontium-based nanobioceramic for periodontal tissue regeneration. Journal of Biomaterials Applications 2021, Online, DOI: 10.1177/08853282211050271

  1. “Apatitic bone cement composite with bioactive glass”, by Manoj Komath, PR Hari Krishna Varma (Filed in 2000; Granted)
  2. “Injectable calcium phosphate cement for dental applications” by Manoj Komath, P R Hari Krishna Varma (Filed in 2002; Granted)
  3. “A bone filler cement” by Manoj Komath, PR Hari Krishna Varma” (Filed in 2012; Granted on 31/12/19)
  4. “A process for the preparation of low dimensional calcium sulphate crystals” by Manoj Komath, Suresh Babu Sivadasan, P R Hari Krishna Varma (Filed in 2012; Granted on 09/09/2019)
  5. “A process for making titanium bone implants with biocompatible and nanoporous surface structure” by Rajesh Palangadan, Manoj Komath, PR Hari Krishna Varma (Filed on 02/08/2012)
  6. “A process for making diamond like carbon coating to prevent metal ion elution from the surfaces of medical devices” by Manoj Komath, C V Muraleedharan, G S Bhuvaneshwar (Filed on 15/10/2012)
  7. “A process for making flexible and adherent diamond like carbon coating on vascular stents and stent like devices” by Manoj Komath, CV Muraleedharan, G S Bhuvaneshwar (Filed on 19/11/2012)
  8. “An improved portable bassinet with controlled infrared warming facility for thermoregulation of low-birth-weight infants to achieve faster weight recovery and a method for the same” by Sarath Sasidharan Nair, Manoj Komath (Filed on 16/10/2015)
  9. “Hydroxyapatite gel based injectable radio-opaque paste for root canal filling” by Manoj Komath and PR Harikrishna Varma (Filed on 08/12/2016)
  10. “Bioactive resorbable electrospun fiber mats with graded structure for periodontal tissue barrier applications” by Manoj Komath and Anil Kumar PR. (Filed on 06/09/2017)
  11. “An inter vertebral spacer device with a delivery instrument employing a protracting pin mechanism and a method for deployment” by Manoj Komath, Sajin Raj RG and V Ramesh Babu (Filed on 14/11/2018)
  12. “A process for making spherical bioceramic beads using super hydrophobic powder bed” by Suresh Babu S., Manoj Komath and Harikrishna Varma P.R. (Filed on 18/09/2019, No.201941037650).
  13. “A system for immobilization and safe disposal of respiratory secretions in hospitals” by Manju Saraswathy, Manoj Komath, Ajay Prasad Hrishi and Asha Kishore (Filed on 11/05/2020, No. 202041019872)
  14. “A structurally and functionally graded porous membrane-scaffold for guided tissue regeneration” by Sarah Lukhose, Manoj Komath and P Ramesh (Filed on 09/09/2020 No.202041038937)
  15. “Self-deploying closure plug and delivery mechanism for intra-nasal endoscopic repair of skull-base defects” by Gijo Raj, Roy Joseph, Prakash Nair and Manoj Komath (Filed on 02/12/20, No.202041052458)

  1. Injectable bioactive bone graft materials for minimally invasive defect repair.
  2. Drug eluting meso-nano porous bioceramics for eluting drugs in bone diseases.
  3. Hybrid bioceramic cages with osteoinductive cues for enhanced fracture union.
  4. Modified bioactive materials for dental tissue regeneration.
  5. Coating of hydroxyapatite layers on to titanium implant surface using Pulsed Laser Deposition and Plasma Spray, to increase the integration with bone.
  6. Silica-based biosensors for the detection of markers in blood for diagnostic applications.
  7. Magnetic nanoparticles for radiological and therapeutic applications.
  8. Biomatrices incorporating specific extracellular vesicles for the regeneration of bone.
  9. Luminal guidance structures with multi-functional channeling for peripheral nerve regeneration.
  10. Biomiemetic materials as bone implants.
  11. Bioeramics for Bone/Cartilage/Adipose Tissue engineering