Growth, viability, adhesion potential and fibronectin expression in fibroblasts cultured on zirconia or feldspatic ceramics in vitro

Luca Raffaelli, Pierfrancesco Rossi Iommetti, Elisabetta Piccioni, Amelia Toesca Di Castellazzo, Simona Serini, Federica Resci, Mauro Missori, Marco De Spirito, Paolo Francesco Manicone, Gabriella Calviello

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24 Citazioni (Scopus)


Zirconia, a biomaterial widely used in dentistry, has recently attracted much attention for its mechanical strength and toughness. Previously, its lack of mutagenic and carcinogenic power was reported. We describe here other essential aspects to be taken into account to define in vitro the biocompatibility of a material: the growth rate, viability, and adhesion capacity of normal stabilized cells growing on it. To this aim, immortalized RAT-1 fibroblasts, growing either on zirconia and on feldspatic (FE) ceramics were compared. In particular, the level of expression and the intra- and extra-cellular organization of fibronectin, a glycoprotein involved in cellular adhesion and migration during tissue repair, was analyzed. Fibroblasts cultured on zirconia showed a higher growth rate, and underwent necrosis at lower levels than cells on FE ceramic, whereas either materials did not stimulate apoptosis. Adhesion capacity of fibroblasts was evaluated measuring adherent cell nucleic acids with the fluorimetric CyQuant assay, and it was found significantly higher in cells cultured on zirconia than on FE ceramic. This finding may be explained by the higher and more precocious expression of the adhesion protein fibronectin observed by indirect immunofluorescence in fibroblasts on zirconia. Overall, the results suggest that zirconia, exerting low cytotoxicity and strongly inducing adhesion capacity, increases cellular growth rate of fibroblasts. All these features suggest that zirconia could represent a more suitable biomaterial than FE ceramic for prosthesis in dentistry.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)959-968
Numero di pagine10
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2008


  • biomedical material
  • feldspatic ceramics
  • in vitro cytotoxicity
  • zirconia


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