Quantitative assessment of the response of osteoblast- and macrophage-like cells to particles of Ni-free Fe-base alloys

G. Ciapetti, J. L. González-Carrasco, L. Savarino, M. A. Montealegre, S. Pagani, N. Baldini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In the present study, the effect of mechanically alloyed particles of new FeAlCr alloys developed for potential applications as surgical implants has been tested on osteoblast- and macrophage-like cells and compared to particles of the Ti6Al4V alloy, for which there is a good clinical experience. After microstructural characterisation of the particles, cells were cultured with particles for 24-48h using three different concentrations of particles, and the response of cells was quantified by assessment of viability, proliferation, and morphology. Mineralisation by osteoblasts was verified after 21 days. The amount of aluminium and chromium ions in the culture medium of macrophages was measured by graphite furnace atomic absorption and phagocytosis of particles assessed by light microscopy. Viability and proliferation of osteoblast- and macrophage-like cells were substantially unaffected by the presence of particles of the new alloys, which were phagocytosed according to their size. Aluminium and chromium ions were released in the culture medium, but no direct correlation with the cell behaviour was found. In vitro mineralisation was achieved by osteoblasts in due time. The new alloys are well tolerated in in vitro systems, and, due to their chemical and mechanical characteristics, they are under development for surgical implants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-859
Number of pages11
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005


  • Ferritic steels
  • Macrophages
  • Metal ion release
  • Osteoblasts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

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