Response of human endothelial cells to oxidative stress on Ti6Al4V alloy

Roman Tsaryk, Marie Kalbacova, Ute Hempel, Dieter Scharnweber, Ronald E. Unger, Peter Dieter, C. James Kirkpatrick, Kirsten Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Titanium and its alloys are amongst the most frequently used materials in bone and dental implantology. The good biocompatibility of titanium(-alloys) is attributed to the formation of a titanium oxide layer on the implant surface. However, implant failures do occur and this appears to be due to titanium corrosion. Thus, cells participating in the wound healing processes around an implanted material, among them endothelial cells, might be subjected to reactive oxygen species (ROS) formed by electrochemical processes during titanium corrosion. Therefore, we studied the response of endothelial cells grown on Ti6Al4V alloy to H2O2 and compared this with the response of endothelial cells grown on cell culture polystyrene (PS). We could show that although the cell number was the same on both surfaces, metabolic activity of endothelial cells grown on Ti6Al4V alloy was reduced compared to the cells on PS and further decreased following prototypic oxidative stress (H2O2-treatment). The analysis of H2O2-induced oxidative stress showed a higher ROS formation in endothelial cells on Ti6Al4V than on PS. This correlated with the depletion of reduced glutathione (GSH) in endothelial cells grown on Ti6Al4V surfaces and indicated permanent oxidative stress. Thus, endothelial cells in direct contact with Ti6Al4V showed signs of oxidative stress and higher impairment of cell vitality after an additional oxidative stress. However, the exact nature of the agent of oxidative stress generated from Ti6Al4V remains unclear and requires further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)806-813
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG, KI 601/4-1). We would like to thank Dr. Sophie Rößler for the helpful discussions and Susanne Barth and Andrea Kölzow for their excellent technical assistance.


  • Corrosion
  • Endothelial cells
  • Free radicals
  • In vitro
  • Oxidative stress
  • Titanium alloy


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