Cytotoxicity testing of materials with limited in vivo exposure is affected by the duration of cell-material contact

Gabriela Ciapetti, Donatella Granchi, Susanna Stea, Lucia Savarino, Elisabetta Verri, Alessandra Gori, Franca Savioli, Lucio Montanaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Silicones for dental impression largely are used to record the geometry of hard and soft dental tissues. They are considered to be medical devices, and the assessment of cytotoxicity is a necessary step in the evaluation of their biocompatibility. Extracts of six addition-type and six condensation- type silicones have been tested with L929 cells according to the ISO 10993 - Part 5 standard. The cytotoxicity was evaluated by three different methods: neutral red uptake, propidium iodide (PI) staining, and amido black staining. According to the selected specific assay, contact between cells and material extracts was maintained for 24 h in the first series of experiments; then, considering that in vivo application of these materials is restricted to a few minutes, additional experiments were performed after 1 h of cell/extract contact. Analysis of the results showed that the addition-type silicones are nontoxic even when tested after prolonged exposure of the cells to the materials while the condensation-type silicones were cytotoxic at 24 h of incubation. Nevertheless, harm to the patient actually could be negligible, considering its very short time of exposure in vivo. This is supported by our finding that most are not toxic after 1 h. We suggest that the experimental conditions of cytotoxicity testing have to be relevant to the in vivo situation; accordingly, the time of exposure should be designed carefully.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-490
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 1998


  • Additiontype-silicones
  • Condensation- type-silicones
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Impression materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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