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Biomaterials. 2001 Jan;22(2):175-85.

Interactions of bioactive glasses with osteoblasts in vitro: effects of 45S5 Bioglass, and 58S and 77S bioactive glasses on metabolism, intracellular ion concentrations and cell viability.

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Department of Anatomy, School of Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, UK.


In a cell culture model of murine osteoblasts three particulate bioactive glasses were evaluated and compared to glass (either borosilicate or soda-lime-silica) particles with respect to their effect on metabolic activity, cell viability, changes in intracellular ion concentrations, proliferation and differentiation. 45S5 Bioglass caused extra- and intracellular alkalinization, a rise in [Ca2+]i and [K+]i, a small plasma membrane hyperpolarization, and an increase in lactate production. Glycolytic activity was also stimulated when cells were not in direct contact with 45S5 Bioglass particles but communicated with them only through the medium. Similarly, raising the pH of culture medium enhanced lactate synthesis. 45S5 Bioglass had no effect on osteoblast viability and, under most conditions, did not affect either proliferation or differentiation. Bioactive glasses 58S and 77S altered neither the ion levels nor enhanced metabolic activity. It is concluded that: (1) some bioactive glasses exhibit well-defined effects in osteoblasts in culture which are accessible to experimentation; (2) 45S5 Bioglass causes marked external and internal alkalinization which is, most likely, responsible for enhanced glycolysis and, hence, cellular ATP production; (3) changes in [H+] could contribute to alternations in concentrations of other intracellular ions; and (4) the rise in [Ca2+]i may influence activities of a number of intracellular enzymes and pathways. It is postulated that the beneficial effect of 45S5 on in vivo bone growth and repair may be due to some extent to alkalinization, which in turn increases collagen synthesis and crosslinking, and hydroxyapatite formation.

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