The surface microporosity of ceramic biomaterials influences the resorption capacity of osteoclasts



This study investigated the influence of the surface microporosity of beta-tri-calcium phosphate (β-TCP) ceramics on the resorption capacity of osteoclasts. This was achieved by first compacting commercially available β-TCP powder into disks that were sintered at various temperatures, thereby yielding different surface microporosities. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and subsequent image processing verified different degrees of surface microporosity on the disks. Rabbit osteoclasts in a bone marrow derived cell suspension were then seeded onto these disks and incubated for 48 h. Tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining confirmed the presence of osteoclasts on all disks. Actin ring staining that detected actively resorbing OCs showed an inverse linear correlation between the number of actively resorbing osteoclasts (percentage of total OCs on the surfaces) with surface microporosity. These findings should be taken into consideration for the design and/or production of new β-TCP bone graft substitutes. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 101A: 3365–3371, 2013.