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1.  Osseointegration of zirconia implants: an SEM observation of the bone-implant interface 
Head & Face Medicine  2008;4:25.
The successful use of zirconia ceramics in orthopedic surgery led to a demand for dental zirconium-based implant systems. Because of its excellent biomechanical characteristics, biocompatibility, and bright tooth-like color, zirconia (zirconium dioxide, ZrO2) has the potential to become a substitute for titanium as dental implant material. The present study aimed at investigating the osseointegration of zirconia implants with modified ablative surface at an ultrastructural level.
A total of 24 zirconia implants with modified ablative surfaces and 24 titanium implants all of similar shape and surface structure were inserted into the tibia of 12 Göttinger minipigs. Block biopsies were harvested 1 week, 4 weeks or 12 weeks (four animals each) after surgery. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis was performed at the bone implant interface.
Remarkable bone attachment was already seen after 1 week which increased further to intimate bone contact after 4 weeks, observed on both zirconia and titanium implant surfaces. After 12 weeks, osseointegration without interposition of an interfacial layer was detected. At the ultrastructural level, there was no obvious difference between the osseointegration of zirconia implants with modified ablative surfaces and titanium implants with a similar surface topography.
The results of this study indicate similar osseointegration of zirconia and titanium implants at the ultrastructural level.
PMCID: PMC2583968  PMID: 18990214
2.  Osseointegration of zirconia implants compared with titanium: an in vivo study 
Head & Face Medicine  2008;4:30.
Titanium and titanium alloys are widely used for fabrication of dental implants. Since the material composition and the surface topography of a biomaterial play a fundamental role in osseointegration, various chemical and physical surface modifications have been developed to improve osseous healing. Zirconia-based implants were introduced into dental implantology as an altenative to titanium implants. Zirconia seems to be a suitable implant material because of its tooth-like colour, its mechanical properties and its biocompatibility. As the osseointegration of zirconia implants has not been extensively investigated, the aim of this study was to compare the osseous healing of zirconia implants with titanium implants which have a roughened surface but otherwise similar implant geometries.
Forty-eight zirconia and titanium implants were introduced into the tibia of 12 minipigs. After 1, 4 or 12 weeks, animals were sacrificed and specimens containing the implants were examined in terms of histological and ultrastructural techniques.
Histological results showed direct bone contact on the zirconia and titanium surfaces. Bone implant contact as measured by histomorphometry was slightly better on titanium than on zirconia surfaces. However, a statistically significant difference between the two groups was not observed.
The results demonstrated that zirconia implants with modified surfaces result in an osseointegration which is comparable with that of titanium implants.
PMCID: PMC2614983  PMID: 19077228
3.  Response of osteoblast-like cells cultured on zirconia to bone morphogenetic protein-2 
The aim of this study was to compare osteoblast behavior on zirconia and titanium under conditions cultured with bone morphogenetic protein-2.
MC3T3-E1 cells were cultured on sandblasted zirconia and sandblasted/etched titanium discs. At 24 hours after seeding MC3T3-E1, the demineralized bone matrix (DBM) gel alone and the DBM gel with bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) were added to the culture medium. The surface topography was examined by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Cellular proliferation was measured at 1, 4, and 7 days after gel loading. Alkaline phosphatase activity was measured at 7 days after gel loading. The mRNA expression of ALPase, bone sialoprotein, type I collagen, runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx-2), osteocalcin, and osterix were evaluated by real-time polymerase chain reaction at 4 days and 7 days.
At 1, 4, and 7 days after loading the DBM gel alone and the DBM gel with BMP-2, cellular proliferation on the zirconia and titanium discs was similar and that of the groups cultured with the DBM gel alone and the DBM gel with BMP-2 was not significantly different, except for titanium with BMP-2 gel. ALPase activity was higher in the cells cultured with BMP-2 than in the other groups, but there was no difference between the zirconia and titanium. In ALPase, bone sialoprotein, osteocalcin, Runx-2 and osterix gene expression, that of cells on zirconia or titanium with BMP-2 gel was much more highly increased than titanium without gel at day 7. The gene expression level of cells cultured on zirconia with BMP-2 was higher than that on titanium with BMP-2 at day 7.
The data in this study demonstrate that the osteoblastic cell attachment and proliferation of zirconia were comparable to those of titanium. With the stimulation of BMP-2, zirconia has a more pronounced effect on the proliferation and differentiation of the osteoblastic cells compared with titanium.
PMCID: PMC3213233  PMID: 22087413
Bone morphogenetic protein-2; Cell differentiation; Cell proliferation; Zirconium oxide
4.  Cell attachment and proliferation of bone marrow-derived osteoblast on zirconia of various surface treatment 
This study was performed to characterize the effects of zirconia coated with calcium phosphate and hydroxyapatite compared to smooth zirconia after bone marrow-derived osteoblast culture.
Bone marrow-derived osteoblasts were cultured on (1) smooth zirconia, (2) zirconia coated with calcium phosphate (CaP), and (3) zirconia coated with hydroxyapatite (HA). The tetrazolium-based colorimetric assay (MTT test) was used for cell proliferation evaluation. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity was measured to evaluate the cellular morphology and differentiation rate. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was employed for the analysis of surface chemistry. The genetic expression of the osteoblasts and dissolution behavior of the coatings were observed. Assessment of the significance level of the differences between the groups was done with analysis of variance (ANOVA).
From the MTT assay, no significant difference between smooth and surface coated zirconia was found (P>.05). From the SEM image, cells on all three groups of discs were sporadically triangular or spread out in shape with formation of filopodia. From the ALP activity assay, the optical density of osteoblasts on smooth zirconia discs was higher than that on surface treated zirconia discs (P>.05). Most of the genes related to cell adhesion showed similar expression level between smooth and surface treated zirconia. The dissolution rate was higher with CaP than HA coating.
The attachment and growth behavior of bone-marrow-derived osteoblasts cultured on smooth surface coated zirconia showed comparable results. However, the HA coating showed more time-dependent stability compared to the CaP coating.
PMCID: PMC4024565  PMID: 24843393
Zirconia; Calcium phosphate; Bone marrow-derived osteoblasts; Ion beam assisted deposition; Aerosol deposition
5.  Surface Modifications of Dental Ceramic Implants with Different Glass Solder Matrices: In Vitro Analyses with Human Primary Osteoblasts and Epithelial Cells 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:742180.
Ceramic materials show excellent esthetic behavior, along with an absence of hypersensitivity, making them a possible alternative implant material in dental surgery. However, their surface properties enable only limited osseointegration compared to titanium implants. Within this study, a novel surface coating technique for enhanced osseointegration was investigated biologically and mechanically. Specimens of tetragonal zirconia polycrystal (TZP) and aluminum toughened zirconia (ATZ) were modified with glass solder matrices in two configurations which mainly consisted of SiO2, Al2O3, K2O, and Na2O. The influence on human osteoblastic and epithelial cell viability was examined by means of a WST-1 assay as well as live/dead staining. A C1CP-ELISA was carried out to verify procollagen type I production. Uncoated/sandblasted ceramic specimens and sandblasted titanium surfaces were investigated as a reference. Furthermore, mechanical investigations of bilaterally coated pellets were conducted with respect to surface roughness and adhesive strength of the different coatings. These tests could demonstrate a mechanically stable implant coating with glass solder matrices. The coated ceramic specimens show enhanced osteoblastic and partly epithelial viability and matrix production compared to the titanium control. Hence, the new glass solder matrix coating could improve bone cell growth as a prerequisite for enhanced osseointegration of ceramic implants.
PMCID: PMC4177732  PMID: 25295270
6.  Gene expression of MC3T3-E1 osteoblastic cells on titanium and zirconia surface 
This study was performed to define attachment and growth behavior of osteoblast-like cells and evaluate the gene expression on zirconia compared to titanium.
MC3T3-E1 cells were cultured on (1) titanium and (2) zirconia discs. The tetrazolium-based colorimetric assay (MTT test) was used for examining the attachment of cells. Cellular morphology was examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity was measured to evaluate the cell differentiation rate. Mann-Whitney test was used to assess the significance level of the differences between the experimental groups. cDNA microarray was used for comparing the 20215 gene expressions on titanium and zirconia.
From the MTT assay, there was no significant difference between titanium and zirconia (P>.05). From the SEM image, after 4 hours of culture, cells on both discs were triangular or elongated in shape with formation of filopodia. After 24 hours of culture, cells on both discs were more flattened and well spread compared to 4 hours of culture. From the ALP activity assay, the optical density of E1 cells on titanium was slightly higher than that of E1 cells on zirconia but there was no significant difference (P>.05). Most of the genes related to cell adhesion showed similar expression level between titanium and zirconia.
Zirconia showed comparable biological responses of osteoblast-like cells to titanium for a short time during cell culture period. Most of the genes related to cell adhesion and signal showed similar expression level between titanium and zirconia.
PMCID: PMC3865196  PMID: 24353879
Dental implants; Zirconia; Titanium; Osteoblast-like cells; cDNA microarray
7.  An In Vitro Evaluation of the Biological Effects of Carbon Nanotube-Coated Dental Zirconia 
ISRN Dentistry  2013;2013:296727.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (fMWCNTs) as a potential coating material for dental zirconia from a biological perspective: its effect on cell proliferation, viability, morphology, and the attachment of an osteoblast-like cell. Osteoblast-like (Saos-2) cells were seeded on uncoated and fMWCNT-coated zirconia discs and in culture dishes that served as controls. The seeding density was 104 cells/cm2, and the cells were cultured for 6 days. Cell viability, proliferation and attachment of the Saos-2 cells were studied. The results showed that Saos-2 cells were well attached to both the uncoated and the fMWCNT-coated zirconia discs. Cell viability and proliferation on the fMWCNT-coated zirconia discs were almost the same as for the control discs. Better cell attachment was seen on the fMWCNT-coated than on the uncoated zirconia discs. In conclusion, fMWCNTs seem to be a promising coating material for zirconia-based ceramic surfaces to increase the roughness and thereby enhance the osseointegration of zirconia implants.
PMCID: PMC3762083  PMID: 24027638
8.  Comparison of the Osteogenic Potential of Titanium and Modified Zirconia-Based Bioceramics 
Zirconia is now favored over titanium for use in dental implant materials because of its superior aesthetic qualities. However, zirconia is susceptible to degradation at lower temperatures. In order to address this issue, we have developed modified zirconia implants that contain tantalum oxide or niobium oxide. Cells attached as efficiently to the zirconia implants as to titanium-based materials, irrespective of surface roughness. Cell proliferation on the polished surface was higher than that on the rough surfaces, but the converse was true for the osteogenic response. Cells on yttrium oxide (Y2O3)/tantalum oxide (Ta2O5)- and yttrium oxide (Y2O3)/niobium oxide (Nb2O5)-containing tetragonal zirconia polycrystals (TZP) discs ((Y, Ta)-TZP and (Y, Nb)-TZP, respectively) had a similar proliferative potential as those grown on anodized titanium. The osteogenic potential of MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblast cells on (Y, Ta)-TZP and (Y, Nb)-TZP was similar to that of cells grown on rough-surface titanium. These data demonstrate that improved zirconia implants, which are resistant to temperature-induced degradation, retain the desirable clinical properties of structural stability and support of an osteogenic response.
PMCID: PMC3975406  PMID: 24633198
dental implant; titanium; zirconia; LTD; osteogenic potential
9.  Characteristics and osteogenic effect of zirconia porous scaffold coated with β-TCP/HA 
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the properties of a porous zirconia scaffold coated with bioactive materials and compare the in vitro cellular behavior of MC3T3-E1 preosteoblastic cells to titanium and zirconia disks and porous zirconia scaffolds.
Titanium and zirconia disks were prepared. A porous zirconia scaffold was fabricated with an open cell polyurethane disk foam template. The porous zirconia scaffolds were coated with β-TCP, HA and a compound of β-TCP and HA (BCP). The characteristics of the specimens were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive x-ray spectrometer (EDX), and x-ray diffractometry (XRD). The dissolution tests were analyzed by an inductively coupled plasma spectrometer (ICP). The osteogenic effect of MC3T3-E1 cells was assessed via cell counting and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
The EDX profiles showed the substrate of zirconia, which was surrounded by the Ca-P layer. In the dissolution test, dissolved Ca2+ ions were observed in the following decreasing order; β-TCP > BCP > HA (P<.05). In the cellular experiments, the cell proliferation on titanium disks appeared significantly lower in comparison to the other groups after 5 days (P<.05). The zirconia scaffolds had greater values than the zirconia disks (P<.05). The mRNA level of osteocalcin was highest on the non-coated zirconia scaffolds after 7 days.
Zirconia had greater osteoblast cell activity than titanium. The interconnecting pores of the zirconia scaffolds showed enhanced proliferation and cell differentiation. The activity of osteoblast was more affected by microstructure than by coating materials.
PMCID: PMC4146729  PMID: 25177472
Zirconia porous scaffold; Osteogenic effect; Cellular response; β-TCP; HA
10.  Comparative in vitro study regarding the biocompatibility of titanium-base composites infiltrated with hydroxyapatite or silicatitanate 
The development of novel biomaterials able to control cell activities and direct their fate is warranted for engineering functional bone tissues. Adding bioactive materials can improve new bone formation and better osseointegration. Three types of titanium (Ti) implants were tested for in vitro biocompatibility in this comparative study: Ti6Al7Nb implants with 25% total porosity used as controls, implants infiltrated using a sol–gel method with hydroxyapatite (Ti HA) and silicatitanate (Ti SiO2). The behavior of human osteoblasts was observed in terms of adhesion, cell growth and differentiation.
The two coating methods have provided different morphological and chemical properties (SEM and EDX analysis). Cell attachment in the first hour was slower on the Ti HA scaffolds when compared to Ti SiO2 and porous uncoated Ti implants. The Alamar blue test and the assessment of total protein content uncovered a peak of metabolic activity at day 8–9 with an advantage for Ti SiO2 implants. Osteoblast differentiation and de novo mineralization, evaluated by osteopontin (OP) expression (ELISA and immnocytochemistry), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, calcium deposition (alizarin red), collagen synthesis (SIRCOL test and immnocytochemical staining) and osteocalcin (OC) expression, highlighted the higher osteoconductive ability of Ti HA implants. Higher soluble collagen levels were found for cells cultured in simple osteogenic differentiation medium on control Ti and Ti SiO2 implants. Osteocalcin (OC), a marker of terminal osteoblastic differentiation, was most strongly expressed in osteoblasts cultivated on Ti SiO2 implants.
The behavior of osteoblasts depends on the type of implant and culture conditions. Ti SiO2 scaffolds sustain osteoblast adhesion and promote differentiation with increased collagen and non-collagenic proteins (OP and OC) production. Ti HA implants have a lower ability to induce cell adhesion and proliferation but an increased capacity to induce early mineralization. Addition of growth factors BMP-2 and TGFβ1 in differentiation medium did not improve the mineralization process. Both types of infiltrates have their advantages and limitations, which can be exploited depending on local conditions of bone lesions that have to be repaired. These limitations can also be offset through methods of functionalization with biomolecules involved in osteogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4077223  PMID: 24987458
Implants; Porous titanium; Hydroxyapatite; Silicatitanate; Osteoblasts; Cell adhesion; Differentiation; Mineralization
11.  Titanium Particle-Challenged Osteoblasts Promote Osteoclastogenesis and Osteolysis in a Murine Model of Periprosthestic Osteolysis 
Acta biomaterialia  2013;9(7):7564-7572.
The current study investigates the interactive behavior of titanium alloy particle-challenged osteoblastic bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) and macrophage lineage cells in a murine knee-prosthesis failure model. BMSCs were isolated from male BALB/c mice femurs and induced in osteogenic medium. At 24 hours after isolation, BMSCs in complete induction medium were challenged with 1, 3, or 5mg/ml titanium particles for 7 days. Culture media were collected at 2, 4 and 6 days and cells were harvested at 7 days for alkaline phosphatase (ALP) assay/stains. Cell proliferation in the presence of Ti particles was periodically evaluated by MTT assay. Mice implanted with titanium-pin tibial implants were given an intra-articular injection of 50μl medium containing 5×105 Ti particles-challenged bone marrow derived osteoblastic cells, followed by a repeat injection at 2 weeks post-op. Control mice with titanium-pin implants received a naïve osteoblastic cell transfusion. After sacrifice at 4 week, the implanted knee joint of each group was collected for biomechanical pin-pullout testing, histological evaluation and RT-PCR analysis of mRNA extracted from the joint tissues. Ti-particles significantly stimulated the proliferation of BMSC-derived osteoblastic cells at both high and low particle concentrations (p<0.05), with no marked differences between the particle doses. ALP expression was diminished following Ti-particle interactions, especially in the high dose particle group (p<0.05). In addition, the culture media collected from short-term challenged (48 hours) osteoblasts significantly increased the numbers of TRAP+ cells when added to mouse peripheral blood monocytes cultures, in comparison with the monocytes cells receiving naïve osteoblasts media (p<0.05). Intra-articular introduction of the osteoblastic cells to the mouse pin-implant failure model resulted in reduced implant interfacial shear strength and thicker peri-implant soft-tissue formation, suggesting that titanium particles-challenged osteoblasts contributed to periprosthetic osteolysis. Comparison of the gene expression profiles among the peri-implant tissue samples following osteoblast injection did not find significant difference in RunX2 or Osterix/Sp7 between the groups. However, MMP-2, IL-1, TNF-α, RANKL, and TRAP gene expressions were elevated in the challenged-osteoblast group (p<0.05). In conclusion, titanium alloy particles were shown to interfere with the growth, maturation, and functions of the bone marrow osteoblast progenitor cells. Particle-challenged osteoblasts appear to express mediators that regulate osteoclastogenesis and peri-prosthetic osteolysis.
PMCID: PMC3686639  PMID: 23518478
titanium debris particles; osteolysis; bone marrow; osteoblast; osteoclast
12.  Synthetic osteogenic extracellular matrix formed by coated silicon dioxide nanosprings 
The design of biomimetic materials that parallel the morphology and biology of extracellular matrixes is key to the ability to grow functional tissues in vitro and to enhance the integration of biomaterial implants into existing tissues in vivo. Special attention has been put into mimicking the nanostructures of the extracellular matrix of bone, as there is a need to find biomaterials that can enhance the bonding between orthopedic devices and this tissue.
We have tested the ability of normal human osteoblasts to propagate and differentiate on silicon dioxide nanosprings, which can be easily grown on practically any surface. In addition, we tested different metals and metal alloys as coats for the nanosprings in tissue culture experiments with bone cells.
Normal human osteoblasts grown on coated nanosprings exhibited an enhanced rate of propagation, differentiation into bone forming cells and mineralization. While osteoblasts did not attach effectively to bare nanowires grown on glass, these cells propagated successfully on nanosprings coated with titanium oxide and gold. We observed a 270 fold increase in the division rate of osteoblasts when grow on titanium/gold coated nanosprings. This effect was shown to be dependent on the nanosprings, as the coating by themselves did not alter the growth rate of osteoblast. We also observed that titanium/zinc/gold coated nanosprings increased the levels of osteoblast production of alkaline phosphatase seven folds. This result indicates that osteoblasts grown on this metal alloy coated nanosprings are differentiating to mature bone making cells. Consistent with this hypothesis, we showed that osteoblasts grown on the same metal alloy coated nanosprings have an enhanced ability to deposit calcium salt.
We have established that metal/metal alloy coated silicon dioxide nanosprings can be used as a biomimetic material paralleling the morphology and biology of osteogenic extracellular matrix. The coated nanosprings enhance normal human osteoblasts cellular behaviors needed for improving osseointegration of orthopedic materials. Thus, metal-coated nanosprings represent a novel biomaterial that could be exploited for improving success rates of orthopedic implant procedures.
PMCID: PMC3276422  PMID: 22284364
nanosprings; nanomaterials; osteoblasts; osseointegration; calcification; bone regeneration
13.  Bacterial adhesion and colonization differences between zirconia and titanium implant abutments: an in vivo human study 
Several parameters have been described for determining the success or failure of dental implants. The surface properties of transgingival implant components have had a great impact on the long-term success of dental implants. The purpose of this study was to compare the tendency of two periodontal pathogens to adhere to and colonize zirconia abutments and titanium alloys both in hard surfaces and soft tissues.
Twelve patients participated in this study. Three months after implant placement, the abutments were connected. Five weeks following the abutment connections, the abutments were removed, probing depth measurements were recorded, and gingival biopsies were performed. The abutments and gingival biopsies taken from the buccal gingiva were analyzed using real-time polymerase chain reaction to compare the DNA copy numbers of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and total bacteria. The surface free energy of the abutments was calculated using the sessile water drop method before replacement. Data analyses used the Mann Whitney U-test, and P-values below 0.05 find statistical significance.
The present study showed no statistically significant differences between the DNA copy numbers of A. actinomycetemcomitans, P. gingivalis, and total bacteria for both the titanium and zirconia abutments and the biopsies taken from their buccal gingiva. The differences between the free surface energy of the abutments had no influence on the microbiological findings.
Zirconia surfaces have comparable properties to titanium alloy surfaces and may be suitable and safe materials for the long-term success of dental implants.
PMCID: PMC3543937  PMID: 23346465
Bacterial adhesion; Dental abutments
14.  Cell response to a newly developed Ti-10Ta-10Nb alloy and its sputtered nanoscale coating 
The success of titanium implants is due to osseointegration or the direct contact of the implant surface and bone without a fibrous connective tissue interface.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the osteoblast precursor response to titanium - 10 tantalum - 10 niobium (Ti-Ta-Nb) alloy and its sputtered coating.
Ti-Ta-Nb coatings were sputtered onto the Ti-Ta-Nb disks. Ti6-Al-4V alloy disks were used as controls. An osteoblast precursor cell line, were used to evaluate the cell responses to the 3 groups. Cell attachment was measured using coulter counter and the cell morphology during attachment period was observed using fluorescent microscopy. Cell culture was performed at 4, 8, 12 and 16 days.
The sputtered Ti-Ta-Nb coatings consisted of dense nanoscale grains in the range of 30 to 100 nm with alpha-Ti crystal structure. The Ti-Ta-Nb disks and its sputtered nanoscale coatings exhibited greater hydrophilicity and rougher surfaces compared to the Ti-6Al-4V disks. The sputtered nanoscale Ti-Ta-Nb coatings exhibited significantly greater cell attachment compared to Ti-6Al-4V and Ti-Ta-Nb disks. Nanoscale Ti-Ta-Nb coatings exhibited significantly greater ALP specific activity and total protein production compared to the other 2 groups.
It was concluded that nanoscale Ti-Ta-Nb coatings enhance cell adhesion. In addition, Ti-Ta-Nb alloy and its nanoscale coatings enhanced osteoblast differentiation, but did not support osteoblast precursor proliferation compared to Ti-6Al-4V. These results indicate that the new developed Ti-Ta-Nb alloy and its nanoscale Ti-Ta-Nb coatings may be useful as an implant material.
PMCID: PMC2994675  PMID: 21165256
Implant; Ti-Ta-Nb; Cell response; Sputter; Nanoscale; Osteoblast
15.  Effect of heat treatment on H2O2/HCl etched pure titanium dental implant: An in vitro study 
Surface chemistry of dental implant plays an important role in osseointegration. Heat treatment might alter surface chemistry and result in different biological response. The aim of this study was to investigate the roles of heat treatment of H2O2/HCl-treated Ti implants in cell attachment, proliferation and osteoblastic differentiation.
Sandblasted, dual acid-etched and H2O2/HCl heat-treated discs were set as the control group and sandblasted, dual acid-etched H2O2/HCl-treated discs were the test group. Both groups’ discs were sent for surface characterization. MC3T3-E1 cells were seeded on these 2 groups’ discs for 3 hours to 14 days, and then cell attachment, cell proliferation and cell differentiation were evaluated.
Scanning electron microscope analysis revealed that the titanium discs in the 2 groups shared the same surface topography, while x-ray diffraction examination showed an anatase layer in the control group and titanium hydride diffractions in the test group. The cell attachment of the test group was equivalent to that of the control group. Cell proliferation was slightly stimulated at all time points in the control group, but the alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and osteocalcin (OC) production increased significantly in the test group compared with those in the control group at every time point investigated (p<0.05 or p<0.01). Moreover, the osteoblastic differentiation-related genes AKP-2, osteopontin (OPN) and OC were greatly up-regulated in the test group (p<0.05 or p<0.01).
The results implied that surface chemistry played an important role in cell response, and H2O2/HCl etched titanium surface without subsequent heat treatment might improve osseointegration response.
PMCID: PMC3560775  PMID: 22739726
titanium implant; heat treatment; anatase; titanium hydride
16.  Resistance to bond degradation between dual-cure resin cements and pre-treated sintered CAD-CAM dental ceramics 
Objective: To evaluate the bond stability of resin cements when luted to glass-reinforced alumina and zirconia CAD/CAM dental ceramics. Study design: Eighteen glass-infiltrated alumina and eighteen densely sintered zirconia blocks were randomly conditioned as follows: Group 1: No treatment; Group 2: Sandblasting (125 µm Al2O3-particles); and Group 3: Silica-coating (50 µm silica-modified Al2O3-particles). Composite samples were randomly bonded to the pre-treated ceramic surfaces using different resin cements: Subgroup 1: Clearfil Esthetic Cement (CEC); Subgroup 2: RelyX Unicem (RXU); and Subgroup 3: Calibra (CAL). After 24 h, bonded specimens were cut into 1 ± 0.1 mm2 sticks. One-half of the beams were tested for microtensile bond strength (MTBS). The remaining one-half was immersed in 10 % NaOCl aqueous solution (NaOClaq) for 5 h before testing. The fracture pattern and morphology of the debonded surfaces were assessed with a field emission gun scanning electron microscope (FEG-SEM). A multiple ANOVA was conducted to analyze the contributions of ceramic composition, surface treatment, resin cement type, and chemical challenging to MTBS. The Tukey test was run for multiple comparisons (p < 0.05). Results: After 24 h, CEC luted to pre-treated zirconia achieved the highest MTBS. Using RXU, alumina and zirconia registered comparable MTBS. CAL failed prematurely, except when luted to sandblasted zirconia. After NaOClaq storage, CEC significantly lowered MTBS when luted to zirconia or alumina. RXU decreased MTBS only when bonded to silica-coated alumina. CAL recorded 100 % of pre-testing failures. Micromorphological alterations were evident after NaOClaq immersion. Conclusions: Resin-ceramic interfacial longevity depended on cement selection rather than on surface pre-treatments. The MDP-containing and the self-adhesive resin cements were both suitable for luting CAD/CAM ceramics. Despite both cements being prone to degradation, RXU luted to zirconia or untreated or sandblasted alumina showed the most stable interfaces. CAL experimented spontaneous debonding in all tested groups.
Key words:CAD/CAM ceramic, alumina, zirconia, resin cement, surface pre-treatment, sandblasting, silica-coating, chemical aging, bond degradation, microtensile bond strength.
PMCID: PMC3476033  PMID: 22322517
17.  In vitro preliminary study of osteoblast response to surface roughness of titanium discs and topical application of melatonin 
Objectives: To observe human osteoblast behavior cultured in vitro on titanium discs (Ti) in relation to surface roughness and melatonin application. Study Design: Human osteoblasts (MG-63) were cultured on 60 Ti6Al4V discs divided into three groups: Group I: discs treated with dual acid etching; Group II dual acid etching and blasting with calcium phosphate particles; Group III (control) machined discs. Surface roughness and topography of the discs were examined with scanning electron microscope (SEM) and confocal laser scanning electron microscope( CLSM). Osteoblast adhesion, proliferation and cell morphology were determined by means of fluorescence microscopy with Image-Pro Plus software and SEM. Results: Group II presented the roughest discs, while the least rough were Group III. Cell adhesion was greatest in Group II. The addition of melatonin improved cell proliferation. Conclusions: 1. Surface treatments (dual acid etching, calcium phosphate impaction) increase surface roughness in comparison with machined titanium. 2. Greater surface roughness tends to favor cell adhesion after 24-hour cell culture. 3. The addition of melatonin tends to favor osteoblast proliferation.
Key words:Osteoblasts, titanium, roughness, melatonin, dental implants, osseointegration.
PMCID: PMC4320427  PMID: 25129252
18.  Hybrid micro/nano-topography of a TiO2 nanotube-coated commercial zirconia femoral knee implant promotes bone cell adhesion in vitro 
Various approaches have been studied to engineer the implant surface to enhance bone in-growth properties, particularly using micro- and nano- topography. In this study, the behavior of osteoblast (bone) cells was analyzed in response to a titanium oxide (TiO2) nanotube-coated commercial zirconia femoral knee implant consisting of a combined surface structure of a micro-roughened surface with the nanotube coating. The osteoblast cells demonstrated high degrees of adhesion and integration into the surface of the nanotube-coated implant material, indicating preferential cell behavior on this surface when compared to the bare implant. The results of this brief study provide sufficient evidence to encourage future studies. The development of such hierarchical micro and nano topographical features, as demonstrated in this work, can provide for insightful designs for advanced bone-inducing material coatings on ceramic orthopedic implant surfaces.
PMCID: PMC4038697  PMID: 23623092
TiO2 nanotube; osteoblast; orthopedic implant; zirconia; cell adhesion; osseointegration
19.  Preparation of Bioactive Titanium Surfaces via Fluoride and Fibronectin Retention 
Statement of Problem. The chemical or topographic modification of the dental implant surface can affect bone healing, promote accelerated osteogenesis, and increase bone-implant contact and bonding strength. Objective. In this work, the effects of dental implant surface treatment and fibronectin adsorption on the adhesion of osteoblasts were analyzed. Materials and Methods. Two titanium dental implants (Porous-acid etching and PorousNano-acid etching followed by fluoride ion modification) were characterized by high-resolution scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and X-ray diffraction before and after the incorporation of human plasma fibronectin (FN). The objective was to investigate the biofunctionalization of these surfaces and examine their effects on the interaction with osteoblastic cells. Results. The evaluation techniques used showed that the Porous and PorousNano implants have similar microstructural characteristics. Spectrophotometry demonstrated similar levels of fibronectin adsorption on both surfaces (80%). The association indexes of osteoblastic cells in FN-treated samples were significantly higher than those in samples without FN. The radioactivity values associated with the same samples, expressed as counts per minute (cpm), suggested that FN incorporation is an important determinant of the in vitro cytocompatibility of the surfaces. Conclusion. The preparation of bioactive titanium surfaces via fluoride and FN retention proved to be a useful treatment to optimize and to accelerate the osseointegration process for dental implants.
PMCID: PMC3503304  PMID: 23197981
20.  In vitro culture and characterization of alveolar bone osteoblasts isolated from type 2 diabetics 
In order to understand the mechanisms of poor osseointegration following dental implants in type 2 diabetics, it is important to study the biological properties of alveolar bone osteoblasts isolated from these patients. We collected alveolar bone chips under aseptic conditions and cultured them in vitro using the tissue explants adherent method. The biological properties of these cells were characterized using the following methods: alkaline phosphatase (ALP) chemical staining for cell viability, Alizarin red staining for osteogenic characteristics, MTT test for cell proliferation, enzyme dynamics for ALP contents, radio-immunoassay for bone gla protein (BGP) concentration, and ELISA for the concentration of type I collagen (COL-I) in the supernatant. Furthermore, we detected the adhesion ability of two types of cells from titanium slices using non-specific immunofluorescence staining and cell count. The two cell forms showed no significant difference in morphology under the same culture conditions. However, the alveolar bone osteoblasts received from type 2 diabetic patients had slower growth, lower cell activity and calcium nodule formation than the normal ones. The concentration of ALP, BGP and COL-I was lower in the supernatant of alveolar bone osteoblasts received from type 2 diabetic patients than in that received from normal subjects (P < 0.05). The alveolar bone osteoblasts obtained from type 2 diabetic patients can be successfully cultured in vitro with the same morphology and biological characteristics as those from normal patients, but with slower growth and lower concentration of specific secretion and lower combining ability with titanium than normal ones.
PMCID: PMC3854304  PMID: 22473318
Alveolar bone; Cell culture; Implant; Osteoblast; Type 2 diabetics
21.  Initial bacterial adhesion on resin, titanium and zirconia in vitro 
The aim of this in vitro study was to investigate the adhesion of initial colonizer, Streptococcus sanguis, on resin, titanium and zirconia under the same surface polishing condition.
Specimens were prepared from Z-250, cp-Ti and 3Y-TZP and polished with 1 µm diamond paste. After coating with saliva, each specimen was incubated with Streptococcus sanguis. Scanning electron microscope, crystal violet staining and measurement of fluorescence intensity resulting from resazurin reduction were performed for quantifying the bacterial adhesion.
Surface of resin composite was significantly rougher than that of titanium and zirconia, although all tested specimens are classified as smooth. The resin specimens showed lower value of contact angle compared with titanium and zirconia specimens, and had hydrophilic surfaces. The result of scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that bound bacteria were more abundant on resin in comparison with titanium and zirconia. When total biofilm mass determined by crystal violet, absorbance value of resin was significantly higher than that of titanium or zirconia. The result of relative fluorescence intensities also demonstrated that the highest fluorescence intensity was found on the surface of resin. Absorbance value and fluorescence intensity on titanium was not significantly different from those on zirconia.
Resin specimens showed the roughest surface and have a significantly higher susceptibility to adhere Streptococcus sanguis than titanium and zirconia when surfaces of each specimen were polished under same condition. There was no significant difference in bacteria adhesion between titanium and zirconia in vitro.
PMCID: PMC3141123  PMID: 21814616
Biofilm; Resin; Titanium; Zirconia
22.  Osteoblast response to titanium surfaces functionalized with extracellular matrix peptide biomimetics 
Clinical oral implants research  2011;22(8):865-872.
Functionalizing surfaces with specific peptides may aid osteointegration of orthopedic implants by favoring attachment of osteoprogenitor cells and promoting osteoblastic differentiation. This study addressed the hypothesis that implant surfaces functionalized with peptides targeting multiple ligands will enhance osteoblast attachment and/or differentiation. To test this hypothesis, we used titanium (Ti) surfaces coated with poly-l-lysine-grafted polyethylene glycol (PLL-g-PEG) and functionalized with two peptides found in extracellular matrix proteins, arginine–glycine–aspartic acid (RGD) and lysine–arginine–serine–arginine (KRSR), which have been shown to increase osteoblast attachment. KSSR, which does not promote osteoblast attachment, was used as a control.
Materials and methods
Sandblasted acid-etched titanium surfaces were coated with PLL-g-PEG functionalized with varying combinations of RGD and KRSR, as well as KSSR. Effects of these surfaces on osteoblasts were assessed by measuring cell number, alkaline phosphatase-specific activity, and levels of osteocalcin, transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1), and PGE2.
RGD increased cell number, but decreased markers for osteoblast differentiation. KRSR alone had no effect on cell number, but decreased levels of TGF-β1 and PGE2. KRSR and RGD/KRSR coatings inhibited osteoblast differentiation vs. PLL-g-PEG. KSSR decreased cell number and increased osteoblast differentiation, indicated by increased levels of osteocalcin and PGE2.
The RGD and KRSR functionalized surfaces supported attachment but did not enhance osteoblast differentiation, whereas KSSR increased differentiation. RGD decreased this effect, suggesting that multifunctional peptide surfaces can be designed that improve peri-implant healing by optimizing attachment and proliferation as well as differentiation of osteoblasts, but peptide combination, dose and presentation are critical variables.
PMCID: PMC4287399  PMID: 21244501
KRSR; KSSR; microstructure; non-fouling; osteoblast differentiation; PLL-g-PEG; RGD; surface modification; surface roughness; titanium
23.  Adult Stem Cells Properties in Terms of Commitment, Aging and Biological Safety of Grit-Blasted and Acid-Etched Ti Dental Implants Surfaces 
Titanium (Ti) is one of the most widely used biomaterials for manufacturing dental implants. The implant surface properties strongly influence osseointegration. The aim of the present study was to in vitro investigate the characteristics of Ti dental implants in terms of mutagenicity, hemocompatibility, biocompatibility, osteoinductivity and biological safety. The Ames test was used to test the mutagenicity of the Ti dental implants, and the hemolysis assay for evaluating their hemocompatibility. Human adipose - derived stem cells (ADSCs) were then seeded onto these implants in order to evaluate their cytotoxicity. Gene expression analyzing with real-time PCR was carried out to investigate the osteoinductivity of the biomaterials. Finally, the genetic stability of the cells cultured onto dental implants was determined by karyotyping. Our results demonstrated that Ti dental implants are not mutagenic, do not cause hemolysis, and are biocompatible. The MTT assay revealed that ADSCs, seeded on Ti dental implants, proliferate up to 30 days in culture. Moreover, ADSCs loaded on Ti dental implants show a substantial expression of some osteoblast specific markers, such as COL1A1, OPN, ALPL, and RUNX2, as well as chromosomal stability after 30 days of culture in a medium without osteogenic factors. In conclusion, the grit-blasted and acid-etched treatment seems to favor the adhesion and proliferation of ADSCs and improve the osteoinductivity of Ti dental implant surfaces.
PMCID: PMC4293610  PMID: 25635249
Titanium dental implants; surface properties; adipose- derived stem cells; biocompatibility; osteogenic differentiation
24.  Cellular viability and genetic expression of human gingival fibroblasts to zirconia with enamel matrix derivative (Emdogain®) 
The objective of this study was to investigate the biologic effects of enamel matrix derivative (EMD) with different concentrations on cell viability and the genetic expression of human gingival fibroblasts (HGF) to zirconia surfaces.
Immortalized human gingival fibroblasts (HGF) were cultured (1) without EMD, (2) with EMD 25 µg/mL, and (3) with EMD 100 µg/mL on zirconia discs. MTT assay was performed to evaluate the cell proliferation activity and SEM was carried out to examine the cellular morphology and attachment. The mRNA expression of collagen type I, osteopontin, fibronectin, and TGF-β1 was evaluated with the real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
From MTT assay, HGF showed more proliferation in EMD 25 µg/mL group than control and EMD 100 µg/mL group (P<.05). HGFs showed more flattened cellular morphology on the experimental groups than on the control group after 4h culture and more cellular attachments were observed on EMD 25 µg/mL group and EMD 100 µg/mL group after 24h culture. After 48h of culture, cellular attachment was similar in all groups. The mRNA expression of type I collagen increased in a concentration dependent manner. The genetic expression of osteopontin, fibronectin, and TGF-β1 was increased at EMD 100 µg/mL. However, the mRNA expression of proteins associated with cellular attachment was decreased at EMD 25 µg/mL.
Through this short term culture of HGF on zirconium discs, we conclude that EMD affects the proliferation, attachment, and cell morphology of HGF cells. Also, EMD stimulates production of extracellular matrix collagen, osteopontin, and TGF-β1 in high concentration levels.
With the use of EMD, protective barrier between attached gingiva and transmucosal zirconia abutment may be enhanced leading to final esthetic results with implants.
PMCID: PMC4211057  PMID: 25352963
Enamel matrix derivative (Emdogain®); Human gingival fibroblast; Zirconia; Cell proliferation; Cell attachment
25.  Effects of Coating a Titanium Alloy with Fibronectin on the Expression of Osteoblast Gene Markers in the MC3T3 Osteoprogenitor Cell Line 
A number of environmental and patient-related factors contribute to implant failure. A significant fraction of these failures can be attributed to limited osseointegration resulting from poor bone healing responses. The overall goal of this study was to determine whether surface treatment of a titanium-aluminum-vanadium alloy (Ti-6Al-4V) implant material with a biomimetic protein coating could promote the differentiation of attached osteoblastic cells. The specific aims of the study were to investigate whether osteoprogenitor cells cultured on a rigorously cleaned implant specimen showed a normal pattern of differentiation and whether preadsorbed fibronectin accelerated or enhanced osteoblast differentiation.
Materials and Methods
Ti-6Al-4V disks were rigorously cleaned, passivated in nitric acid, and dry heat–sterilized; some of the disks were then coated with 1 nmol/L fibronectin. MC3T3 osteoprogenitor cells were then cultured on the pretreated disks for several weeks. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed to measure changes over time in the mRNA levels of osteoblast genes.
Fibronectin increased the peak expression of all analyzed osteoblast gene markers. “Early” genes that normally mark the proliferative phase (0 to 10 days) of osteoblastic development showed peak expression within the first 10 days after cell attachment to the titanium alloy. In contrast, “late” genes that normally mark the differentiation (10 to 20 days) and mineralization (20 to 36 days) phases of osteoblastogenesis achieved peak expression only after approximately 3 to 4 weeks of culture.
Osteoprogenitors cultured on a rigorously cleaned Ti-6Al-4V alloy were found to demonstrate a normal pattern of osteoblast differentiation. Preadsorbed fibronectin was observed to stimulate osteoblast differentiation during the mineralization phase of osteoblastogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3810407  PMID: 23057020
coatings; differentiation; fibronectin; metal oxides; osteoblast; real-time polymerase chain reaction

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