It is commonly accepted that titanium and the titanium alloying elements of tantalum, niobium, zirconium, molybdenum, tin, and silicon are biocompatible. However, our research in the development of new titanium alloys for biomedical applications indicated that some titanium alloys containing molybdenum, niobium, and silicon produced by powder metallurgy show a certain degree of cytotoxicity. We hypothesized that the cytotoxicity is linked to the ion release from the metals. To prove this hypothesis, we assessed the cytotoxicity of titanium and titanium alloying elements in both forms of powder and bulk, using osteoblast-like SaOS2 cells. Results indicated that the metal powders of titanium, niobium, molybdenum, and silicon are cytotoxic, and the bulk metals of silicon and molybdenum also showed cytotoxicity. Meanwhile, we established that the safe ion concentrations (below which the ion concentration is non-toxic) are 8.5, 15.5, 172.0, and 37,000.0 μg/L for molybdenum, titanium, niobium, and silicon, respectively.
Published online before print March 23, 2010
Field of Research
Socio Economic Objective
861299 Fabricated Metal Products not elsewhere classified