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Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2012 Dec 1;32(8):2163-2168. Epub 2012 Jun 2.

Investigation of In Vitro Bone Cell Adhesion and Proliferation on Ti Using Direct Current Stimulation.

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  • 1W. M. Keck Biomedical Materials Research Laboratory, School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-2920, USA.


Our objective was to establish an in vitro cell culture protocol to improve bone cell attachment and proliferation on Ti substrate using direct current stimulation. For this purpose, a custom made electrical stimulator was developed and a varying range of direct currents, from 5 to 25 µA, were used to study the current stimulation effect on bone cells cultured on conducting Ti samples in vitro. Cell-materials interaction was studied for a maximum of 5 days by culturing with human fetal osteoblast cells (hFOB). The direct current was applied in every 8 h time interval and the duration of electrical stimulation was kept constant at 15 min for all cases. In vitro results showed that direct current stimulation significantly favored bone cell attachment and proliferation in comparison to nonstimulated Ti surface. Immunochemistry and confocal microscopy results confirmed that the cell adhesion was most pronounced on 25 µA direct current stimulated Ti surfaces as hFOB cells expressed higher vinculin protein with increasing amount of direct current. Furthermore, MTT assay results established that cells grew 30% higher in number under 25 µA electrical stimulation as compared to nonstimulated Ti surface after 5 days of culture period. In this work we have successfully established a simple and cost effective in vitro protocol offering easy and rapid analysis of bone cell-materials interaction which can be used in promotion of bone cell attachment and growth on Ti substrate using direct current electrical stimulation in an in vitro model.

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