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In vitro reactions of human osteoblasts in culture with zirconia and alumina ceramics.

The biocompatibility of two implantable materials, zirconia and alumina ceramics, was investigated in vitro using human osteoblast cell cultures. The viability of osteoblast cells with the materials was evaluated by the methylthiazole sulfate test that revealed an absence of any cytostatic or cytotoxic effect. Cell proliferation kinetic and total protein synthesis in osteoblasts with zirconia or alumina were similar to that observed in control cells cultured on glass coverslips. Light and scanning electron microscopic examinations showed an intimate contact between osteoblasts and the substrates; well-spread cells were observed on the surfaces of both materials. Adhesion ability and morphological characteristics were preserved in osteoblast cultures with these substrates. Moreover, immunohistochemical staining in osteoblasts with zirconia and alumina showed the capacity of these cells to elaborate the extracellular matrix composed of types I and V collagen, osteocalcin, osteonectin, bone sialoprotein, and cellular fibronectin. Finally, DNA image cytometry and interphase silver-nucleolar organizer regions quantification were applied as complementary biocompatibility tests to detect any changes in DNA synthesis and cell proliferation, respectively. The results showed that neither material altered cell ploidy or cell growth rate in accordance with the absence of any inducing effect on DNA synthesis or proliferation.[1]


  1. In vitro reactions of human osteoblasts in culture with zirconia and alumina ceramics. Josset, Y., Oum'Hamed, Z., Zarrinpour, A., Lorenzato, M., Adnet, J.J., Laurent-Maquin, D. J. Biomed. Mater. Res. (1999) [Pubmed]
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