In vitro fibroblast and pre-osteoblastic cellular responses on laser surface modified Ti-6AI-4V.
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The success of any implant, dental or orthopaedic, is driven by the interaction of implant material with the surrounding tissue. In this context, the nature of the implant surface plays a direct role in determining the long term stability as physico-chemical properties of the surface affect cellular attachment, expression of proteins, and finally osseointegration. Thus to enhance the degree of integration of the implant into the host tissue, various surface modification techniques are employed. In this work, laser surface melting of titanium alloy Ti–6Al–4V was carried out using a CO2 laser with an argon gas atmosphere. Investigations were carried out to study the influence of laser surface modification on the biocompatibility of Ti–6Al–4V alloy implant material. Surface roughness, microhardness, and phase development were recorded. Initial knowledge of these effects on biocompatibility was gained from examination of the response of fibroblast cell lines, which was followed by examination of the response of osteoblast cell lines which is relevant to the applications of this material in bone repair. Biocompatibility with these cell lines was analysed via Resazurin cell viability assay, DNA cell attachment assay, and alamarBlue metabolic activity assay. Laser treated surfaces were found to preferentially promote cell attachment, higher levels of proliferation, and enhanced bioactivity when compared to untreated control samples. These results demonstrate the tremendous potential of this laser surface melting treatment to significantly improve the biocompatibility of titanium implants in vivo.
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