It was indicated that tetragonal zirconia polycrystal (TZP) containing yttria (Y2
) and niobium oxide (Nb2
) ((Y,Nb)-TZP) could be an adequate dental material to be used at esthetically important sites. The (Y,Nb)-TZP was also proved to possess its osteogenic potential comparable with those conventional dental implant material, titanium (Ti). The objective of the current study was to characterize cellular response of human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs) to smooth and rough surfaces of the (Y,Nb)-TZP disc, which were obtained by polishing and sandblasting, respectively. Various microscopic, biochemical, and molecular techniques were used to investigate the disc surfaces and cellular responses for the experimental (Y,Nb)-TZP and the comparing Ti groups. Sandblasted rough (Y,Nb)-TZP (Zir-R) discs had the highest surface roughness. HGFs cultured on polished (Y,Nb)-TZP (Zir) showed a rounded cell morphology and light spreading at 6 h after seeding and its proliferation rate significantly increased during seven days of culture compared to other surfaces. The mRNA expressions of type I collagen, integrin α2 and β1 were significantly stimulated for the Zir group at 24 h after seeding. The current findings, combined with the previous results, indicate that (Y,Nb)-TZP provides appropriate surface condition for osseointegration at the fixture level and for peri-implant mucosal sealing at the abutment level producing a suitable candidate for dental implantation with an expected favorable clinical outcome.
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