Written by Frieda Wiley
Julia Glaum, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Piezoelectric Performance and Cytotoxicity of Porous, Barium-Titanate-Based Ceramics for Biomedical Applications
Piezoelectric effect is a terminology that defines the ability of certain substances, such as ceramics, bone, DNA, and crystals, to generate alternating current charges. Researchers are investigating this property as it relates not only to piezoelectric performance, but also cytoxicity of porous barium titanate-based ceramic for biochemical applications.
Successful tissue integration has some unusual requirements, including liquid stability. Direct piezoeffect results from mechanical stress while indirectly the vibration produced by mechanical force yields a piezoelectric effect. These are two different triggers in tissue repair.
Medical ultrasound, in vivo sensing and in vivo synergy harvesting, and tissue repair mimic the stress-generated potentials in bones. The motivation of the study is to explore the topic of tissue implant materials to improve the bonding between the artificial implant and the bone.
Researchers used corn starch and poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA) to form the artificial template. The strength and polymerization of materials comprised of BaTiO3 can be measured; such compounds are stable up to 35% porosity; after this point, a loss of D33 cells occurs due to an unpoled matrix. A decrease in D33 is also observed as porosity increases due to the formation of air bubbles in the matrix.
Different pore formers lead to similar porosity; both corn starch and PMMA exhibited similar porosities. Additionally, cytotoxicity presents a major challenge. For example, it is easier to get more living cells on the ceramic sample than on the polystyrol. Despite numerous challenges faced with the development of different pore formers, cell proliferation and viability show promise. Leeching tests are forthcoming.