Comparative evaluation of different calcium phosphate-based bone graft granules – an in vitro study with osteoblast-like cells

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Granule-shaped calcium phosphate-based bone graft materials are often required for bone regeneration especially in implant dentistry. Two newly developed bone graft materials are Ceracell®, an open-celled highly porous bioceramic from β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) under addition of bioglass and Osseolive®, an open porous glass ceramic with the general formula Ca2KNa(PO4)2. The goal of this study was to characterize different modifications of the two bone graft materials in vitro in comparison to already established ceramic bone grafts Cerasorb M®, NanoBone® and BONIT Matrix®.

Materials and methods:

Adhesion and proliferation of SaOS-2 osteoblast-like cells were evaluated quantitatively by determining DNA content and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity and qualitatively by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In addition, MTT cell-vitality staining was applied to confirm the attachment of viable cells to the different materials. Osteogenic differentiation was evaluated by measurement of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity as well as gene expression analysis of osteogenic markers using reverse transcriptase PCR.


DNA content and LDH activity revealed good cell attachment and proliferation for Ceracell and Cerasorb M. When pre-incubated with cell-culture medium, also Osseolive showed good cell attachment and proliferation. Attachment and proliferation of osteoblast-like cells on NanoBone and BONIT Matrix was very low, even after pre-incubation with cell-culture medium. Specific ALP activity on Ceracell®, Osseolive ® and Cerasorb M® increased with time and expression of bone-related genes ALP, osteonectin, osteopontin and bone sialoprotein II was demonstrated.


Ceracell as well as Osseolive granules support proliferation and osteogenic differentiation in vitro and may be promising candidates for in vivo applications.

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