The use of ureteral stents to relieve urinary tract obstruction is still challenged by the problems of infection, encrustation, and compression, leading to the need for early removal procedures. Biodegradable ureteral stents, commonly made of polymers, have been proposed to overcome these problems. Recently, absorbable metals have been considered as potential materials offering both biodegradation and strength. This work proposed zinc-based absorbable metals by firstly evaluating their cytocompatibility toward normal primary human urothelial cells using 2D and 3D assays. In the 2D assay, the cells were exposed to different concentrations of metal extracts (i.e., 10 mg/mL of Zn–1Mg and 8.75 mg/mL of Zn–0.5Al) for up to 3 days and found that their cytoskeletal networks were affected but were recovered at day 3, as observed by immunofluorescence. In the 3D ureteral wall tissue construct, the cells formed a multilayered urothelium, as found in native tissue, with the presence of tight junctions at the superficial layer and laminin at the basal layer, indicating a healthy tissue condition even with the presence of the metal samples for up to 7 days of exposure. The basal cells attached to the metal surface as seen in a natural spreading state with pseudopodia and fusiform morphologies, indicating that the metals were non-toxic.
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