After surgery, the bone and soft tissues around integrated biomaterials can be adversely affected by implant-related factors acting over a period of years. However, few studies have directly addressed the effects upon the adjacent soft tissue. The present study was designed to test the biological effects of various sized hydroxyapatite (HA) particles on myoblasts and fibroblasts. Both the myoblasts and fibroblasts were mixed in in vitro culture with 0.1% (1 mg ml-1) of various sized HA particles (0.5-3.0, 37-63, 177-250, 420-841 μm) for 1 h, 3 h, 1 day, 3 days and 7 days to test their effects on the cell culture. The results show that adding HA particles into a cell culture can decrease the cell count significantly. The transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) concentrations in the culture medium decreased significantly on addition of HA particles. When calculated as a ratio to the cell number, the TGF-β1 titre increased most significantly in the groups of medium-sized particles. The prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) concentrations in the medium increased significantly. The changes in TGF-β1 and PGE2 concentrations with the smallest particles were most significant and persisted longer. The inhibitory effects of the HA particles on the cell culture were mediated by the increased synthesis of PGE2. Caution should be exercised before considering the use of an HA product which could easily break down into a fine powder.
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