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The production of several bioactive glass products for use in medical and dental applications often involves the use of a sintering step. Typically, particles of the bioactive glass, already formed into a porous construct with the requisite geometry, are heated to a temperature above the glass transition temperature but below the softening temperature. Viscous flow of the glass leads to bonding of the particles, reduction in porosity and strengthening of the construct. Commonly, the bioactive glass products formed by the sintering route, such as coatings and porous three-dimensional scaffolds, have a geometry or microstructure that cannot be easily achieved by casting or forming molten glass, the most widely used production process for glass. This article will review the principles of viscous flow sintering and their application to the production of bioactive glass products for biomedical applications.

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