Promising in vitro performances of a new nickel-free stainless steel

Lucio Montanaro, Marina Cervellati, Davide Campoccia, Carla Renata Arciola

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Stainless steel is a metallic alloy largely employed in orthopaedics. However, the presence in its composition of a high quantity of nickel, an agent known to trigger toxic and allergic responses, is cause for concern. In this study, we have investigated the in vitro biocompatibility of a new nickel-reduced stainless steel, namely Böhler P558, in comparison to the conventional stainless steel AISI 316L. The neutral red (NR) uptake and the amido black (AB) tests were performed on L929 fibroblasts and MG63 osteoblasts to assess the cytotoxicity, while cytogenetic effects were evaluated on CHOK1 cells by studying the frequency of Sister Chromatid Exchanges (SCE) and chromosomal aberrations. Ames test was used to detect the mutagenic activity. The expression of selected markers typical of differentiated osteoblasts, such as alkaline phosphatase activity (ALP), type I collagen (CICP) and osteocalcin (OC) production, were also monitored in MG63 cells cultured on the tested materials. Our results indicate the absence of significant cytotoxicity and genotoxicity for both test alloys. ALP, CICP and OC analyses confirmed that both materials support the expression of these phenotypic markers. Overall, these data show that this Ni-free alloy possesses good in vitro biocompatibility and could have a potential for orthopaedic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-275
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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