Initial osteoblast-like cell response to pure titanium and zirconia/alumina ceramics

Hee Cheol Ko, Jung Suk Han, Maria Bächle, Jun Hyeog Jang, Sang Wan Shin, Dae Joon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Outstanding mechanical properties, resistance to scratching and high biocompatibility make zirconia/alumina ceramics interesting for dental applications. To solve the problem of the well-known low temperature degradation and to provide stable mechanical properties a novel zirconia alloy ((Y,Nb)-TZP/alumina) was developed. The aim of this study was to investigate the initial bone cell response to this new zirconia/alumina composite ceramic. Methods: HOS cells were cultured on zirconia/alumina composite (Zc) and pure titanium (Ti) discs. Surface topography was examined by atomic force microscopy (AFM), cell morphology by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Cell proliferation (MTS) and alkaline phosphatase activity was measured at 1, 4 and 8 days. The mRNA expression of Cycline D1, the cell cycle regulating gene, integrin β 1, osteonectin (ON) and β-actin were evaluated by RT-PCR analysis after 12, 24 and 48 h. Results: Both substrates showed a very smooth character with Ra-values in the range of 0.002-0.113 μm supporting a continuous cellular growth. After 8 days, cell proliferation on Zc was higher than on Ti. The mRNA expression of cyclin D1 showed similar activity after 48 h on both surfaces, ALP activity was higher on Zc after 8 days. ON expression however showed no difference between the two groups. Significance: Our data demonstrate that this new zirconia composite ceramic showed at least equivalent or slightly better biological response of osteoblast-like HOS cells than pure titanium during a short-time cell culture period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1349-1355
Number of pages7
JournalDental Materials
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the grant of Ministry of Science & Technology (Regenomics, M10528010004-06N2801-00410).


  • AFM
  • Cell proliferation
  • Osteoblast-like HOS cells
  • RT-PCR
  • SEM
  • Zirconia/alumina ceramic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Dentistry
  • Mechanics of Materials


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