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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2007 Dec 1;83(3):853-60.

Metal oxide coated cell culture arrays for rapid biological screening.

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Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biotechnology, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA.


The biointerface of metallic alloy implants is a spontaneously formed metal oxide layer. This study presents a novel method for creating titanium oxide xerogel coated microplates for high-throughput biological screening that overcomes several limitations of using bulk metal samples to study oxides. Metal-organic precursors were used to evaluate the influence of Al, V, Ca, and P doped smooth and textured titanium oxide xerogel coatings on the bioresponse of human fibroblasts to increase understanding of the soft tissue sealing around transepithelial devices. Coatings made of titanium n-butoxide were characteristically smooth, while those of titanium isopropoxide were micro- and nanofeatured. Screening consisted of WST-1 proliferation assay, calcein AM cell number and viability assay, and a modified cell seeding efficiency and centrifugation adhesion assay. Small variations in initial attachment and centrifugation adhesion of human fibroblasts were observed among the coatings and comparable to tissue-culture treated polystyrene. Proliferation and viability at 24 and 48 h were reduced by the 10 and 20% vanadium additions. Metal oxide coated microplates are adaptable to the investigation of a wide range of metal-organic derived chemistries and the influence of oxide texture, and level of oxide crystallinity and oxide grain size on the biological responses of cells.

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