Modifications of Novel Zirconia Surface and its Effects on Cellular Interaction of Human Osteoblasts: An In vitro Study
Objectives: Implant surface characteristics can have a profound effect on process of osseointegration thereby affecting its success. The objectives of this project was to characterise the different modified surface(s) of a novel zirconia material for dental implant developed at James Cook University, which can serve as a metal-free alternative to titanium-based dental implants.
Methods: Surface of Zirconia discs were be modified using mechanical (sand-blasting) or Hydrofluoric acid etching for variable period (30 or 60 minutes) of time or both. The effect of these modifications were evaluated using Laser scanning microscope (profilometry) and compared to that of polished Zirconia discs. Subsequently, the effect of these surface modification on cellular attachment, migration and proliferation was assessed using F-actin staining and AlamarBlue assay using Human Osteoblasts (HoB) cultured under osteogenic conditions. Gene expression analysis to evaluate the early (day 1) and late (day 5) changes that can be attributed to the surface modification will also provide additional supporting data towards the suitability of the Zirconia material.
Results: Initial results have confirmed that sand-blasting can significantly enhance the cellular interaction of HoB cells as evidenced by increased rate of cellular attachment, migration and proliferation, in comparison to polished Zirconia surfaces. This can be attributed to the rough surface, as confirmed by laser scanning profilometric analysis. Furthermore, the findings of gene expression analysis will be presented in the meeting.
Conclusions: Our initial results confirm the biocompatible nature of indigenously fabricated zirconia with surface modifications and its potential use as a dental implant due to improved cellular response, improved aesthetics and making Zirconia a promising material for further in-vivo animal and clinical studies.