Impedance testing of porous Si3N4 scaffolds for skeletal implant applications

Onat Akbulut, Serder and Ghorbanpoor, Hamed and İpteç, Betül Özbek and Butterworth, Adrian and Avcıoğlu, Gamze and Kozacı, Leyla Didem and Topateş, Gulsum and Corrigan, Damion K. and Avci, Huseyin and Guzel, Fatma D. (2020) Impedance testing of porous Si3N4 scaffolds for skeletal implant applications. SN Applied Sciences, 2. 823. ISSN 2523-3971 (

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Si3N4 ceramics show excellent characteristics of mechanical and chemical resistance in combination with good biocompatibility, antibacterial property and radiolucency. Therefore, they are intensively studied as structural materials in skeletal implant applications. Despite their attractive properties, there are limited data in the field about in vitro studies of cellular growth on ceramic implant materials. In this study, the growth of bone cells was investigated on porous Silicon Nitride (Si3N4) ceramic implant by using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Partial sintering was performed at 1700 °C with limited amount of sintering additive for the production of porous Si3N4 scaffolds. All samples were then sterilized by using ethylene oxide followed by culturing MG-63 osteosarcoma cells on the substrates for in vitro assays. At 20 and 36 hours, EIS was performed and results demonstrated that magnitude of the impedance as a result of the changes in the culture media increased after incubation with osteosarcoma cells. The changes are attributed to the cellular uptake of charged molecules from the media. Si3N4 samples appear to show large impedance magnitude changes, especially between 100 Hz and 1 Hz. Impedance changes were also correlated with WST-1 measurements (36 hr) and DAPI results.