Human Osteoblast Cell-Ti6Al4V Metal Alloy Interactions Under Varying Cathodic Potentials: A Pilot Study

  • Arghya K. Bishal
  • John Grotberg
  • Cortino Sukotjo
  • Mathew T. Mathew
  • Christos G. Takoudis


Surface oxide plays an important role in the biocompatibility of metallic implants. The stability of this surface oxide varies depending on the surrounding environment of the implant. Numerous electrochemical processes may take place during formation and depletion of an oxide layer on the surface through corrosion. This shifts the open circuit potential (OCP) of titanium alloy (generally at ~150 mV vs. SCE) to be more cathodic. Therefore, the relation between cellular response and cathodic potential was investigated in this study first time for the MG63 cells type on the Ti-6Al-4V surface. Initially, the surface was polished and brought to a mirror finish. Then cells were cultured on top of such surfaces kept at two different static cathodic potentials (−300 and −600 mV vs. SCE) for 24 h. The experiments were facilitated using a custom glass corrosion chamber. With shifts toward more cathodic potentials than OCP, it was found that the well-spread viable cells rendered to small, rounded-up, unhealthy cells. This study suggested the apoptotic MG63 cell death due to electrochemical reactions and their products generated under cathodic potentials.


Surface oxide Ti-6Al-4V Open circuit potential (OCP) MG63 cells Cathodic potentials Biocompatibility 



We are very thankful to Richard Frueh, Physical Sciences Machine Shop, UIC Department of Physics, Brian D. Schwandt, Glass shop, UIC Department of Chemistry, for their aid and assistance in designing the corrosion chamber for this work, and the National Science Foundation (CBET #1067424 and DMR #1307052) for the financial support.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arghya K. Bishal
    • 1
  • John Grotberg
    • 1
  • Cortino Sukotjo
    • 2
  • Mathew T. Mathew
    • 3
  • Christos G. Takoudis
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Restorative Dentistry, College of DentistryUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryRush University Medical CenterChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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