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In vitro and in vivo evaluation of a new zirconia/niobium biocermet for hard tissue replacement

AutorBartolomé Gómez, José Florindo ; Moya, J. S. ; Couceiro, Ramiro; Gutiérrez-González, C. F. ; Guitián, Francisco; Martinez-Insua, A.
Palabras claveImplants
Bone growth
Ceramic-metal composites
Fecha de publicación2016
CitaciónBiomaterials 76: 313-320 (2016)
ResumenMetals and ceramics are commonly used in orthopaedics, dentistry and other load bearing applications. However, the use of ceramic matrix composites reinforced with biocompatible metals for heavy load-bearing hard tissue replacement applications has not previously been reported. In order to improve the reliability and the mechanical properties of biomedical implants, new zirconia-Nb composites have been recently developed. The aim of this study was to investigate the biological tolerance of these new zirconia/Nb biocermets implants with both in vitro and in vivo approaches. At first, human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells were cultured on sintered biocermet discs with polished surfaces and were compared with responses to niobium metal. In vitro, the biocermets showed no deleterious effect on cell proliferation, extra-cellular matrix production or on cell morphology. Furthermore, the biocermet showed a higher percentage of cell proliferation than Nb metal. On the other hand, the bone response to these new zirconia/Nb biocermets was studied. Cylinders of biocermets, as well as commercially Nb rod were implanted in the tibiae of New Zealand white rabbits. All the animals were euthanatized after 6 months. The specimens were processed to obtain thin ground sections. The slides were observed in normal transmitted light microscope. A newly formed bone was observed in close contact with material surfaces. No inflamed or multinucleated cells were present. This study concluded that zirconia/Nb composites are biocompatible and osteoconductive. The ceramic-metal composite has even better osteointegration ability than pure Nb. In conclusion, zirconia-Nb biocermet is suitable for heavy load-bearing hard tissue replacement from the point of view of both mechanical properties and biocompatibility.
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2015.10.058
issn: 1878-5905
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