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J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2017 Mar;28(3):53. doi: 10.1007/s10856-017-5863-1. Epub 2017 Feb 14.

In vitro cytotoxicity and surface topography evaluation of additive manufacturing titanium implant materials.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland.
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Oral Pathology and 3D Innovation Lab, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Biomaterials Science and Turku Clinical Biomaterial Centre, Welfare Division, Institute of Dentistry, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland.
Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.
Division of Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases, Department of Clinical Sciences, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, SE-171 76, Sweden.


Custom-designed patient-specific implants and reconstruction plates are to date commonly manufactured using two different additive manufacturing (AM) technologies: direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) and electron beam melting (EBM). The purpose of this investigation was to characterize the surface structure and to assess the cytotoxicity of titanium alloys processed using DMLS and EBM technologies as the existing information on these issues is scarce. "Processed" and "polished" DMLS and EBM disks were assessed. Microscopic examination revealed titanium alloy particles and surface flaws on the processed materials. These surface flaws were subsequently removed by polishing. Surface roughness of EBM processed titanium was higher than that of DMLS processed. The cytotoxicity results of the DMLS and EBM discs were compared with a "gold standard" commercially available titanium mandible reconstruction plate. The mean cell viability for all discs was 82.6% (range, 77.4 to 89.7) and 83.3% for the control reconstruction plate. The DMLS and EBM manufactured titanium plates were non-cytotoxic both in "processed" and in "polished" forms.

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