eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2018   Volume No 37 – pages 1-15

Title: Pyrocarbon versus cobalt-chromium in the context of spherical interposition implants: an in vitro study on cultured chondrocytes

Authors: A Hannoun, G Ouenzerfi, L Brizuela, S Mebarek, C Bougault, M Hassler, Y Berthier, A-M Trunfio-Sfarghiu

Address: INSA of Lyon, Bâtiment Sophie Germain 27bis, Avenue Jean Capelle, F69621, Villeurbanne, France

E-mail: amira.hannoun at

Abstract: In the context of shoulder surgical replacement, a new generation of spherical interposition implants has been developed, with the implant being a mobile spacer rubbing against the glenoid cartilage and humeral bone cavity. The aim of the present study was to compare pyrocarbon (PyC) versus cobalt-chromium (CoCr) implants, regarding preservation and regeneration of the surrounding tissues. The effect of the biomaterials on chondrocytes was analysed in vitro. Murine primary chondrocytes were grown on discs made of PyC or CoCr using two culture media to mimic either cartilage-like or bone-like conditions (CLC or BLC). Chondrocytes did grow on PyC and CoCr without alteration in cell viability or manifestation of cytotoxicity. The tissue-like cell membranes grown under BLC were examined for the chondrocyte’s ability to mineralise (by alizarin red matrix staining, calcium deposit and alkaline phosphatase activity) and for their mechanical properties (by rheological tests). For the chondrocytes grown under CLC and BLC, extracellular matrix components were analysed by histological staining and immunolabelling. Under CLC, PyC promoted type II collagen expression in chondrocytes, suggesting that they may generate a more cartilage-like matrix than samples grown on both CoCr and plastic control. In BLC, the tissue-like cell membranes grown on PyC were more mineralised and homogenous. The mechanical results corroborated the biological data, since the elastic modulus of the tissue-like cell membranes developed on the PyC surface was higher, indicating more stiffness. Overall, the results suggested that PyC might be a suitable biomaterial for spherical interposition implants.

Key Words: Implant, cartilage, bone, pyrocarbon, cobalt-chromium, cultured chondrocytes, rheology.

Publication date: January 7th 2019

Article download: Pages 1-15 (PDF file)

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