Pulsed Electrical Stimulation and Surface Charge Induced Cell Growth on Multistage Spark Plasma Sintered Hydroxyapatite-Barium Titanate Piezobiocomposite



The primary purpose of the present work was to illustrate whether cell proliferation can be enhanced on electroactive bioceramic composite, when the cells are cultured in the presence of external electrical stimulation. The two different aspects of the influence of electric field (E-field) application toward stimulating the growth/proliferation of bone/connective tissue cells in vitro, (a) intermittent delivery of extremely low strength pulsed electrical stimulation (0.5–4 V/cm, 400 μs DC pulse) and (b) surface charge generated by electrical poling (10 kV/cm) of hydroxyapatite (HA)-BaTiO3 piezobiocomposite have been demonstrated. The experimental results establish that the cell growth can be enhanced using the new culture protocol of the intermittent delivery of electrical pulses within a narrow range of stimulation parameters. The optimal E-field strength for enhanced cellular response for mouse fibroblast L929 and osteogenic cells is in the range of 0.5–1 V/cm. The MTT [3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide] assay results suggested the increased viability of E-field treated cells over 7 d in culture, implicating the positive impact of electrical pulses on proliferation behavior. The alizarin red assay results showed noticeable increase in Ca-deposition on the E-field treated samples in comparison to their untreated counterparts. The negatively charged surfaces of developed piezocomposite stimulated the cell growth in a statistically noticeable manner as compared with the uncharged or positively charged surfaces of similar composition.