Hench, Larry

University Professor of Engineering/Biomedical Engineering Program
Biomedical Engineering

I am excited about the potental of creating at FIT a world class rssearch and education program to provide innovative affordable solutions  to sports medicine, cancer detection and treatment, wound care and personalized healthcare needs of an aging population.

Personal Overview

Dr. Hench brings to the BME program 45+ years of educational and research experience at the interface of materials and medicine with many important medical and dental products based upon the research from his laboratories at the University of Florida (32 years) and Imperial College London (10years). Dr. Hench is creating at FIT with BME faculty and international collaborators an innovative Center for Medical Materials and Photonics that will provide world-leading programs in the following areas:

Third generation bioactive materials, including bioactive materials for regenerative medicine, load bearing orthopaedic and dental devices, intelligent wound care systems, and materials for sports medicine repair and reconstruction;

Medical photonics, including laser and bio-Raman based cancer detection and therapeutics, human cell based-screening for toxicology, pharmaceutical and biomaterials screening, and patient specific diagnosis and therapy analyses. The Center will provide education and research opportunities at the undergraduate, graduate and post-doctorate levels. A unique feature of the Center will be a broad range of continuing education distance learning courses offered on a modular basis that can be tailored by biomedical engineers and other professionals in the health care field to achieve individual career objectives on a time and cost effective basis. Key features of the courses are: intensive introduction to new science and technology developments in clinical repair of all systems of the body; understanding of critical socio-economic issues in translational medicine including technology transfer, regulatory requirements of new medical devices along with technical and ethical issues of implants, transplants, tissue engineering and stem cell technologies. Self-paced testing and directed readings make it possible for the healthcare professional to achieve up to date training at their own time schedule.

In 1969 Dr. Hench discovered Bioglass, the first man-made material to bond to living tissues. All materials used in medicine or dentistry prior to this discovery were only tolerated by the body and formed a non-adherent fibrous layer isolating living tissues from the foreign material. The concept of bioactive bonding pioneered by Dr. Hench’s discovery opened the field of biomedical materials to innovation that has led to numerous second and third generation materials and devices and revolutionized the approach to repair and regeneration of the body. This unique range of soda-calcia-phosphate-silica glasses is used clinically throughout the world for repair of bones, joints and teeth. Extensive research directed by Dr. Hench on the mechanisms of bonding of Bioglass to bone in the mid-‘80’s led to FDA approval for use of bioactive glasses as devices to reconstruct the ossicular chain and restore hearing, replace teeth to maintain stability of the jaw, and repair maxillo-facial bone defects. In the ‘90’s Dr. Hench and colleagues discovered that a particulate form of bioactive glasses led to regeneration of new bone. FDA approved use of this material for repair of bone defects caused by periodontal (gum) disease (preventing loss of millions of teeth worldwide) and numerous applications in orthopaedic surgery including repair of bone defects following revision surgery of failed hip and knee prostheses and spinal repair. Professor Hench and colleagues at Imperial College London discovered the genetic basis for regeneration of bone by the up-regulation of seven families of genes when bone stem cells are exposed to controlled release of the dissolution products of bioactive glasses. These pioneering findings provide a new, exciting research direction for bio-molecular design of the third generation of materials for regenerative repair of the body and prevention of aging of tissues which will be a specialty area of the new FIT Center for Medical Materials and Photonics.

The research and commercial development of bioactive glasses together with the accompanying studies of the fundamental mechanisms of glass surface reactions, investigations of use of special glasses for safe disposal of high level radioactive wastes and low temperature chemical processing of materials directed by Dr. Hench over 40 years, has led to many international awards, publication of 800 research papers, 30 books, 32 U.S. patents and election to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. Twelve companies have been founded based upon technology created in Professor Hench’s laboratories.

Dr. Hench is also author of a series of children’s books, published by the American Ceramic Society and Can of Worms Press, London England, featuring Boing-Boing the Bionic Cat. Bionic Cat-based educational materials such as workbooks, experiment books and hands-on kits are now being used in the US and England to stimulate interest in science, engineering and technology in school children.


Educational Background

B. Ceramic Engineering, The Ohio State University, 1961

PhD. Ceramic engineering, The Ohio State University, 1964

Recognition & Awards

Professor Hench’s awards include: the prestigious TMS Acta Materiala J. Herbert Holloman Award and Acta Biomateriala Gold Medal; the Materials Research Society von Hipple Award; the Society for Biomaterials Clemson Award for Basic Research in Biomaterials and Founders Award; the American Ceramic Society George W. Morey Award for Excellence in Glass Research, Ceramic Educational Council Outstanding Educator Award, John Jeppson Medal and Award, Sosman Memorial Lecture, W. David Kingery Award for Lifetime Accomplishments, Stookey Discovery Prize, Toledo Glass and Ceramic Prize and Distinguished Life Member; European Society for Biomaterials George Winter Award; European Ceramics Society Mellor Memorial Lecturer; Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids Sir Nevill Mott Award; World Academy of Ceramics, International Ceramics Prize; Institute of Materials, Dennis Chapman Medal for Service to Society; United Kingdom Society for Biomaterials Presidents Prize; India Institute of Bioengineering and Biomaterials Sharma Medal and Award; Triangle Fraternity Men of the Century; The Ohio State University College of Engineering Outstanding Alumnus, Benjamin Lamme Medal and Award and The Ohio State University Alumni Association Distinguished Career Award; Florida Scientist of the Year Award; Wedgwood Lecturer; Florida Academy of Sciences Medal; Osaka City University, Japan, College of Medicine Medal.

Dr. Hench is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and World Academy of Ceramics as well as a Fellow of the following professional societies: American Ceramic Society, Society of Glass Technology, Society for Biomaterials, Institute of Materials, Mining and Metallurgy, Royal Society of Chemistry, and AIMBE. He has received an Honorary Doctorate from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Additional Duties

Director of Center for Medical Materials and Photonics

Selected Publications

The seminal publication that describes discovery of the first man-made material to form a chemical bond to living tissue

"Bonding Mechanisms at the Interface of Ceramic Prosthetic Materials," L. L. Hench, R. J. Splinter, T. K. Greenlee and W. C. Allen, J. Biomedical Materials Research, (November 1971), No. 2, Part 1, 117-141.

Papers that develop concepts of bioactive bonding to bone, mechanisms of bonding and requirements for chemical bonding

"Epitaxy of Poly-L-Alanine on alpha-Quartz and Glass-Ceramic Surfaces," B. Hartwig and L. L. Hench, J. Biomed. Materials Research 6[5] (1972) 413-424.

"Direct Chemical Bond of Bioactive Glass-Ceramic Materials to Bone and Muscle," L. L. Hench and H. A. Paschall, J. Biomed. Mats. Res. Symp. No. 4 (1973) 25-42.

"Ceramics, Glasses and Composites in Medicine," L. L. Hench, Medical Instrumentation 1[2] (1973) 136-144.

"Histo-Chemical Responses at a Biomaterials Interface," L. L. Hench and H. A. Paschall, J. Biomed. Mats. Res., No. 5 (Part 1) (1974) 49-64.

"Mechanical Studies of the Bone-Bioglass Interfacial Bond," G. Piotrowski, L. L. Hench, W. C. Allen and G. J. Miller, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. Symp. 9[4] (1975) 47-61.

“Interfacial Behavior of Ceramics Implants," L. L. Hench, H. A. Paschall, W. C. Allen and G. Piotrowski, National Bureau of Standards Special Publication 415, May 1975, 19-35.

"The Influence of Surface Chemistry on Implant Interface Histology: A Theoretical Basis for Implant Materials Selection," A. E. Clark, L. L. Hench and H. A. Paschall, J. Biomed. Maters. Res. 10 (1976) 161-174.

"Compositional Dependence of the Formation of Calcium Phosphate Films on Bioglass," M. Ogino, F. Ohuchi, and L. L. Hench, J. Biomed. Maters. Res. 14 (1980) 55-64.

"An Investigation of Bioactive Glass Powders by Sol-Gel Processing," R. Li, A. E. Clark, and L. L. Hench, J. Appl. Biomaterials 2 (1991) 231-239.

"Particulate Bioglass® Compared with Hydroxyapatite as a Bone Graft Substitute," H. Oonishi, S. Kutrshitani, E. Yasukawa, H. Iwaki, L. L. Hench, J. Wilson, E. Tsuji, and T. Sugihara, J. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 334 (1997) 316-325.

Papers that describe new analytical chemical techniques developed in Professor Hench’s labs and applied to understand bioactive bonding mechanisms and cell-material interactions

"New Methods for Studying Glass Corrosion Kinetics," D. M. Sanders, W. B. Person and L. L. Hench, Appl. Spectroscopy 26[5] (1972) 530-536

“Multilayer Corrosion Films on Glass Surfaces," C. G. Pantano, Jr., A. E. Clark, Jr. and L. L. Hench, J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 57[9] (1974) 412-4

"Auger Spectroscopic Analysis of Bioglass Corrosion Films," A. E. Clark, Jr., C. G. Pantano, Jr. and L. L. Hench, J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 59[1-2] (1976) 37-39.

"STEM/EDX Analysis of Bone-Bioglass Interface," J. J. Hren, P. F. Johnson, S. R. Bates, and L. L. Hench, EMSA (1976) 290-291.

“In situ characterisation of living cells by Raman Spectroscopy”, I. Notingher, S. Verrier, H. Romanska, A.E. Bishop, J.M. Polak and L.L. Hench, Spectroscopy 16 (2002), 43-51.

International collaborations, review papers and books that stimulated world-wide interest in bioactive materials

"Biomedical Applications and Glass Corrosion," L. L. Hench, Proceedings of Xth Intl. Congress on Glass, Ceramic Society of Japan, Kyoto, Japan (1974) 30-41.

"Evaluation of a Bioglass Coated Al2O3 Total Hip Prosthesis in Sheep," P. Griss, D. C. Greenspan, G. Heimke, B. Krempien, R. Buchinger, L. L. Hench and G. Jentschura, J. Biomed. Maters. Res. 10[4] (1976) 511-518.

"Biomaterials," L. L. Hench, Science 208 (1980) 826-831.

"Physical Chemistry of Glass Surfaces," L. L. Hench and D. E. Clark, J. Non-Crystal. Solids 28[1] (1978) 83-105.

"Surface Active Biomaterials," Larry L. Hench and June Wilson, Science,226 (1984) 630-636.

BIOMATERIALS: AN INTERFACIAL APPROACH, L. L. Hench and E. C. Ethridge, Academic Press,New York, 1982.

HANDBOOK OF BIOACTIVE CERAMICS: VOL. I. BIOACTIVE GLASSES AND GLASS-CERAMICS, T. Yamamuro, J. Wilson, and L. L. Hench, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 1990.


INTRODUCTION TO BIOCERAMICS, L. L. Hench and June Wilson, eds., World Scientific Publishers,LondonandSingapore, 1993.

"Bioceramics", L. L. Hench, J Am Ceram Soc, 81 (7) pp 1705-28, (1998)

NEW MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGIES FOR HEALTHCARE, LL Hench, JR Jones and MB Fenn, Imperial College Press London, 2012

INTRODUCTION TO BIOCERAMICS, second edition, L. L. Hench, ed., Imperial College Press, World Scientific Publishers, London and Singapore, 2013.

Papers and books that present successful in vitro and in vivo tests that led to approval by FDA for use of bioactive glasses in humans

"Toxicology and Biocompatibility of Bioglasses®," J. Wilson, G. H. Pigott, F. J. Schoen and L. L. Hench, J. Biomed. Maters. Res. 15 (1981) 805-817.

"The Implantation of Natural Tooth Form Bioglass in Baboons - Long Term Results," H. R. Stanley, L. L. Hench, C. G. Bennett, Jr., S. J. Chellemi, C. J. King, III, R. E. Going, N. J. Ingersoll, E. C. Ethridge, K. L. Kreutziger, L. Loeb, and A. E. Clark, Intern. J. Oral Implantology 2 (1981) 26-36.

"Analysis of Bioglass Fixation of Hip Prostheses," L. L. Hench, C. G. Pantano, Jr., P. J. Buscemi and D. C. Greenspan, J. Biomed. Maters. Res. 11[2] (1977) 267-281.

"A Bone-Bonding Bioactive Material Implant in the Head and Neck: Bioglass," M. S. Karlan, L. L. Hench, M. Madden and M. Ogino, Surgical Forum, Vol. XXXIX, (1979) 575-577.

"Adhesion to Bone," L. L. Hench and A. E. Clark, in Biocompatibility of Orthopaedic Implants, D. F. Williams and G. D. Winter, eds., CRC Press.Boca Raton,Florida, Vol. II, 1982, Chapter 6.

"Comparison of Ossicular Replacement Materials in a Mouse Ear Model," Gerald E. Merwin, James S. Atkins, June Wilson, Larry L. Hench, Otolaryngol. Head Neck Surg., 90 (1982) 461-469.

CLINICAL PERFORMANCE OF SKELETAL PROSTHESES, Larry L. Hench and June Wilson, Chapman & Hall,London, 1996.

Seminal papers in tissue engineering and the genetic basis for regenerative medicine

"Effect of Fibronectin on the Adhesion of an Established Cell Line to a Surface Reactive Biomaterial," T. L. Seitz, K. D. Noonan, L. L. Hench and N. E. Noonan, J. Biomed. Maters. Res. 16 [3] (1982) 195-207.

"AM-1 Molecular Orbital Calculations of Silica-Alanine-Nitrogen Interaction," J. K. West and L. L. Hench, J. Biomed. Maters. Res. 29 (1994) 625-633.

"Biological Applications of Bioactive Glasses," L. L. Hench and J. K. West, Life Chem. Reports, 13 (1996) 187-241.

“In vitro adsorption and activity of enzymes on reaction layers of bioactive glass substrates”, K.D. Lobel and L.L. Hench, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. 39, 575-578 (1998)

"Bioactive Materials: The Potential for Tissue Regeneration", L.L. Hench, J. Biomed Mater Res., (1998), Vol 41 pp 511 - 518.

"Bacteriostatic Action of a Novel Four-Component Bioactive Glass", M. Bellantone, N. J. Coleman, L. L. Hench, J Biomed Mater Res 51; pp 484-490 (2000).

"Bioactive Materials to Control Cell Cycle", L.L. Hench, J.M. Polak, I.D. Xynos, L.D.K. Buttery, Mat Res Innovat 3:313-323 (2000).

"Bioglass ® 45S5 Stimulates Osteoblast Turnover and Enhances Bone Formation In Vitro: Implications and Applications for Bone Tissue Engineering", I.D. Xynos, M.V.J. Hukkanen, J.J. Batten, L.D. Buttery, L.L. Hench, J.M. Polak., Calc Tiss Int 67:321-329 (2000).

"Ionic Dissolution Products of Bioactive Glass Increase Proliferation of Human Osteoblasts and Induce Insulin-like Growth Factor II mRNA Expression and Protein Synthesis", I.D. Xynos, A.J. Edgar, L.D. Buttery, L.L. Hench, J.M. Polak., Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 276:461-465 (2000).

“Gene Expression Profiling of Human Osteoblasts Following Treatment with the Ionic Dissolution Products of Bioglass® 45S5 Dissolution”, I.D. Xynos, A.J. Edgar, L.D.K. Buttery, L.L. Hench and J.M. Polak, J. Biomed. Mater. Res., 55:151-157 (2001).

“Bioactive Sol-Gel Foams for Tissue Repair”, P. Sepulveda, J.R. Jones. and L.L. Hench, J. Biomedical Materials Research (2002), 59 (2), 340-348.

“Third-Generation Biomedical Materials”, Larry L. Hench and Julia M. Polak, Science, (2001) 1014, Vol. 295. Issue date02/08/2002.

“In-Situ Monitoring of mRNA Translation in Embryonic Stem Cells During Differentiation In-Vitro”, I. Notingher, I. Bisson, A. E. Bishop, W. L. Randle, J. M. P. Polak, L. L. Hench Anal. Chem. 76(11) (2004), 3185-3193

“Gene therapy progress and prospects: In tissue engineering”, J.M. Polak and L.L. Hench, Nature-Gene Therapy (2005), 1-9

“Characterizatioin of human fetal osteoblasts by microarray analysis following stimulation with 58S bioactive gel-glass ionic dissolution products”.Christodoulou I, Buttery LD, Tai G, Hench LL, Polak JM. J. Biomed. Mater. Res. B Appl. Biomater. 2006;77(2):431-446.

Bio Photonics publications of Professor Hench’s group using bio-Raman spectroscopy of living cells

Notingher I, Verrier S, Romanska H, Bishop AE, Polak JM, Hench LL. In situ Characterisation of Living Cells by Raman Spectroscopy. Spectroscopy. 2002;16:43-51.

Notingher I, Bisson I, Bishop AE, Randle WL, Polak JM, Hench LL. In-situ Spectral Monitoring of mRNA Translation in Embryonic Stem Cells During Differentiation In-Vitro Analytical Chemistry. 2004;76:3185-3193.

Notingher I, Jell G, Lohbauer U, Salih V, Hench LL. In-situ non-invasive Spectral Discrimination between Bone Cell Phenotypes used in Tissue Engineering. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. 2004;92: 1180-1192.

Notingher I, Selvakumaran J, Hench LL. New Detection System for Toxic Agents Based on Continuous Spectroscopic Monitoring of Living Cells. Biosensors & Bioelectronics. 2004;20:780-789.

Notingher I, Bisson I, Polak JM, Hench LL. In Situ Spectroscopic Study of Nucleic Acids in Differentiating Embryonic Stem Cells. Vibrational Spectroscopy. 2004;35:199-203.

Notingher I, Jell G, Notingher PL, Bisson I, Tsigkou O, Polak JM, Stevens MM, Hench LL. Multivariate Analysis of Raman Spectra for in Vitro Non-Invasive Studies of Living Cells. Journal of Molecular Structure. 2005;744:179-85.

Notingher I, Hench LL. Raman Microspectroscopy: A Non-Invasive Tool for Studies of Individual Living Cells in Vitro. Expert Review of Medical Devices. 2006;3(2):215-234 .

Notingher I, Green C, Dyer C, Hench LL. Discrimination Between Ricin and Sulfur Mustard Toxicity In Vitro Using Raman Spectroscopy. J. R. Soc. Interface. 2004;1(1);79-90.

Owen CA, Jell G, Notingher I, Stevens MM. In Vitro Toxicology Evaluation of Pharmaceuticals Using Raman Microspectroscopy. J. Cellular Biochemistry. 2006;99(1):178-186.

Jell G, Notingher I, Tsigkou O, Notingher P, Polak JM, Hench LL, Stevens MM. Bioactive Glass-Induced Osteoblast Differentiation: A Noninvasive Spectroscopic Study. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A. 2008;86A(1):31-40.

Owen CA, Selvakumaran J, Notingher I, Jell G, Hench LL, Stevens MM. In Vitro Toxicology Evaluation of Pharmaceuticals Using Raman Micro-Spectroscopy. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. 2006;99;178-185.

Recent publications of Professor Hench in biomedical engineering ethics

SCIENCE, FAITH AND ETHICS, LL Hench, Imperial College Press, London, 2001

THE ENDING, LL Hench, chapter 34, NEW MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGIES FOR HEALTHCARE, LL Hench, JR Jones, in B Fenn, Imperial College Press 2012

Ethical Issues, chapter 41, LL Hench, INTRODUCTION TO BIOCERAMICS, second edition, Imperial College Press, 2013

Sources and Resolutions of Ethical Conflicts in Healthcare, Larry L. Hench and Michael B. Fenn, International Journal of Ethics in Biology, Medicine and Engineering, 2012