Identification of Zirconia Particle Uptake in Human Osteoblasts by ToF-SIMS Analysis and Particle-Size Effects on Cell Metabolism

  • chair:

    Welle, A. / Rabel, K. / Schwotzer, M. / Kohal, R.J. / Steinberg, T. / Altmann, B. (2022)

  • place:

    Nanomaterials 2022, 12, 23, 4272,

  • Date: Dezember 2022
  • Abstract

    As the use of zirconia-based nano-ceramics is rising in dentistry, the examination of possible biological effects caused by released nanoparticles on oral target tissues, such as bone, is gaining importance. The aim of this investigation was to identify a possible internalization of differently sized zirconia nanoparticles (ZrNP) into human osteoblasts applying Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), and to examine whether ZrNP exposure affected the metabolic activity of the cells. Since ToF-SIMS has a low probing depth (about 5 nm), visualizing the ZrNP required the controlled erosion of the sample by oxygen bombardment. This procedure removed organic matter, uncovering the internalized ZrNP and leaving the hard particles practically unaffected. It was demonstrated that osteoblasts internalized ZrNP within 24 h in a size-dependent manner. Regarding the cellular metabolic activity, metabolization of alamarBlue by osteoblasts revealed a size- and time-dependent unfavorable effect of ZrNP, with the smallest ZrNP exerting the most pronounced effect. These findings point to different uptake efficiencies of the differently sized ZrNP by human osteoblasts. Furthermore, it was proven that ToF-SIMS is a powerful technique for the detection of zirconia-based nano/microparticles that can be applied for the cell-based validation of clinically relevant materials at the nano/micro scale.