Cytocompatibility of magnesium and AZ31 alloy with three types of cell lines using a direct in vitro method

  • Akira Mochizuki
  • Chie Yahata
  • Hung Takai
Biocompatibility Studies Original Research
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Biocompatibility Studies


Magnesium alloys have been investigated by many researchers as a new absorbable biomaterial owing to their excellent degradability with non-maleficence or low-maleficence in living tissues. In the present work, the in vitro cytocompatibility of an Magnesium alloy was investigated by culturing cells directly on it. Investigations were carried out in terms of the cell viability along with the use of scanning electron microscopy to observe its morphology. The cell lines used were derived from fibroblast, endothelial, and smooth muscle cells. Pure magnesium and AZ31 alloy composed of magnesium (96 %), aluminum (3 %), and zinc (1 %) were adopted as models. The viability of cells on the metal samples and on the margin area of a multi-well plate was investigated. For direct culturing on metal, a depression in the viability and morphologically stressed cells were observed. In addition, the cell viability was also depressed for the margin area. To clarify the factors causing the negative effects, the amount of eluted metal ions and pH changes in the medium because of the erosion of the Magnesium samples were investigated, together with the cytotoxicity of sole metal ions corresponding to the composition of the metals. It was found that Mg2+, Zn2+, and Al3+ ions were less toxic at the investigated concentrations, and that these factors will not produce negative effects on cells. Consequently, these factors cannot fully explain the results.


AZ31 Alloy Margin Area Metal Sample Original Medium Adsorbed Protein Layer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was sponsored by E.S.Q. Ltd., (Yabuki, Fukushima, Japan) in the year 2014 under the subsidiary enterprise “Research and Development Programs for Medical and Welfare Apparatus” by Fukushima prefectural government. We thank Support Center for Medical Research and Education, Tokai University for their technical support in SEM observation and Technology Joint Management Office for their measurement of surface roughness.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Bio-Medical Engineering, School of EngineeringTokai UniversityIseharaJapan

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