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The influence of the microstructure of high noble gold-platinum dental alloys on their corrosion and biocompatibility in vitro

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The aim of this work was to compare the microstructures of two high noble experimental Au-Pt alloys with similar composition with their corrosion and biocompatibility in vitro. We showed that Au-Pt II alloy, composed of 87.3 wt.% Au, 9.9 wt.% Pt, 1.7 wt.% Zn and 0.5 wt.% Ir + Rh + In, although possessing better mechanical properties than the Au-Pt I alloy (86.9 wt.% Au, 10.4 wt.% Pt, 1.5 wt.% Zn and 0.5 wt.% Ir + Rh + In), exerted higher adverse effects on the viability of L929 cells and the suppression of rat thymocyte functions, such as proliferation activity, the production of Interleukin-2 (IL-2), expression of IL-2 receptor and activation — induced apoptosis after stimulation of the cells with Concanavalin-A. These results correlated with the higher release of Zn ions in the culture medium. As Zn2+, at the concentrations which were detected in the alloy’s culture media, showed a lesser cytotoxic effect than the Au-Pt conditioning media, we concluded that Zn is probably not the only element responsible for alloy cytotoxicity. Microstructural characterization of the alloys, performed by means of scanning electron microscopy in addition to energy dispersive X-ray and X-ray diffraction analyses, showed that Au-Pt I is a two-phase alloy containing a dominant Au-rich α1 phase and a minor Pt-rich α2 phase. On the other hand, the Au-Pt II alloy additionally contained three minor phases: AuZn3, Pt3Zn and Au1.4Zn0.52. The highest content of Zn was identified in the Pt3Zn phase. After conditioning, the Pt3Zn and AuZn3 phases disappeared, suggesting that they are predominantly responsible for Zn loss, lower corrosion stability and subsequent lower biocompatibility of the Au-Pt II alloy.


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Author information

Correspondence to R. Rudolf.

Additional information

Miodrag Colic, MD, PhD is a full Professor of Immunology at the Military Medical Academy (MMA), Belgrade, Serbia and at the Medical School, University of Nis, Serbia. He is the Head of the Institute for Medical Research, MMA, and a member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. His field of research is mainly focused on cellular immunology, inflammation, biotechnology, and the biocompatibility of dental and medical implants. To date he has published over 100 scientific papers in SCI journals.

Prof. Dr. Dragoslav Stamenkovic, Dean of the Faculty of Stomatology, University of Belgrade was born in 1949 in Belgrade. Having his Ph.D. since 1983, University of Belgrade he fills the positions of Dean and Professor at the Faculty of Stomatology. Study visits: Welsh National School of Medicine, University of London, University Medical Centre, Aachen, Trinity College and the Dental Hospital, Dublin. Main fields of research: Prosthodontics, Dental materials, Implantology.

Prof. Dr. Ivan Anzel was born in Slovenia in 1962. He obtained his Ph.D. in Physical Metallurgy at the University of Ljubljana, 1996. Positions: Professor in Materials Science, Head of the Institute of Materials Technology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maribor. Main fields of research: High Temperature and Internal Oxidation, Electron Microscopy and Analysis, Monitoring of Phase Transformations.

Assist. Prof. Dr. Gorazd Lojen was born in 1962 in Maribor, Slovenia. Since 1991 he has been a member of the Institute of Materials Technology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at University of Maribor. He obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 2002, was habilitated to assistant professor in materials in 2005. His main fields of research: metal matrix composites, semisolid and shape memory alloys.

Dr. Rebeka Rudolf, Senior Researcher joined the Institute of Materials Technology in 1993. In 2002 she obtained her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. Positions: Senior researcher at the Institute of Materials Technology, Development Manager and Head of the Research group in Zlatarna Celje. Fields of interest: Noble metals and alloys for jewellery and dentistry, new production technologies.

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Colic, M., Stamenkovic, D., Anzel, I. et al. The influence of the microstructure of high noble gold-platinum dental alloys on their corrosion and biocompatibility in vitro. Gold Bull 42, 34–47 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03214904

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Key words

  • Au-Pt alloy
  • biocompatibility
  • corrosion
  • Zn
  • microstructure