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    Ultrastructural Examination of In Vitro and In Vivo Cells Exposed to Elements from Type 316L Stainless Steel

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    The ultrastructural features of in vivo and in vitro cells exposed to Type 316L stainless steel corrosion product solutions were examined. The in vivo cells were from fibrous tissue capsules formed around stainless steel rods implanted in the back muscles of New Zealand white rabbits. Aqueous solutions of the stainless steel alloy were injected at the implant-to-capsule interface to increase the concentration of alloy constituents bathing the tissues. The in vitro cells were cultured human gingival fibroblasts also exposed to stainless steel solutions of similar concentration. The ultrastructural features of both in vitro and in vivo cells were examined by transmission electron microscopy.

    The following observations were made for both the in vitro and in vivo cells:

    1. The severity of the cellular response increased when the concentration of the solutions of stainless steel exposed to the cells increased.

    2. As the severity of the cellular response increased, the cells showed a decrease in rough endoplasmic reticulum, an increase in cytoplasmic vacuolation with altered organelles, a more diffuse plasma membrane, and a decrease in cellular organization.


    transmission electron microscopy, stainless steels, implant materials, biocompatibility, ultrastructures of cells, tissue response, biomaterials

    Author Information:

    Lucas, LC
    Assistant professor, The University of Alabama in Birmingham, AL

    Bearden, LJ
    Consultant, Birmingham, AL

    Lemons, JE
    Professor and chairman, School of Dentistry, The University of Alabama in Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

    Committee/Subcommittee: F04.43

    DOI: 10.1520/STP33254S