Background: The goal of this study was to evaluate the behavior of neonatal rat calvarial osteoblast-like cells cultured on different implant surfaces and exposed once or three times to a 660-nm light-emitting diode (LED).
Methods: An LED with a 660-nm wavelength was applied once or three times to cultured cells on standard and modified sandblasted acid-etched surfaces (SLA and SLActive; Straumann, Basel, Switzerland). To analyze the effect of the LED on cell proliferation, numbers, and viability, cells were cultured on titanium discs, and measurements were taken after 72 h. Cell proliferation rates were assessed using a bromodeoxyuridine immunohistochemical technique. Cell morphologies were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
Results: Osteoblast-like cells proliferated on all tested surfaces, with differences among groups in cell counts and DNA synthesis values. The application of one LED treatment caused a significant increase in cell count in the SLActive group in comparison with the SLA group (p = 0.001), whereas the application of three LED treatments caused a significant decrease in cell count in the SLA group compared with the SLActive group (p < 0.001). After 72 h, the number of cells was highest in the SLActive group exposed once to the LED.
Conclusions: One LED application in the SLActive group resulted in significantly increased cell numbers. However, these findings were not exactly compatible with the SEM findings, which demonstrated fewer cells and weak attachments between cells and to the surface. Thus, further studies using different LED application times are needed to clarify the reason for the increased number of cells that are apparently incapable of attaching to the titanium surfaces after 72 h.