Osteoblast cell death on methacrylate polymers involves apoptosis

Julie E. Gough, Sandra Downes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The success of an implant depends on the implant-tissue interface. There are many causes of implant failure, one of which is tissue necrosis. The aim of this in vitro study was to determine whether cell death of primary human osteoblasts (implant site specific cells) occurred by apoptosis (a form of programmed cell death) on two methacrylate polymers. Cells were cultured on poly(ethyl methacrylate)/tetrahydrofurfuryl methacrylate and poly(methyl methacrylate in the form of 13-mm discs, in conditioned medium containing leachable monomer and in the presence of various concentrations of monomer itself in the culture medium. It was found that monomer and leached monomer caused apoptosis of human osteoblast cells in this system. Tetrahydrofurfuryl methacrylate monomer was found to be more toxic than currently used monomer methylmethacrylate. Preincubation of polymers in serum containing medium was found to increase the biocompatibility of the polymers. High levels of apoptosis occurred on polymer used directly after polymerization. Apoptosis levels were decreased after polymer was incubated at 60°C overnight or for 3 days. Apoptosis therefore may occur in cells at the implant site in vivo. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)497-505
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2001


    • Apoptosis
    • Methacrylate
    • Monomer
    • Necrosis
    • Osteoblasts


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