Transition metal multi-principal element alloys (MPEAs) are novel alloys that may offer enhanced surface and mechanical properties compared with commercial metallic alloys. However, their biocompatibility has not been investigated. In this study, three CoCrFeNi-based MPEAs were fabricated, and the in vitro cytotoxicity was evaluated in direct contact with fibroblasts for 168 h. The cell viability and cell number were assessed at 24, 96, and 168 h using LIVE/DEAD assay and alamarBlue assay, respectively. All MPEA sample wells had a high percentage of viable cells at each time point. The two quaternary MPEAs demonstrated a similar cell response to stainless steel control with the alamarBlue assay, while the quinary MPEA with Mn had a lower cell number after 168 h. Fibroblasts cultured with the MPEA samples demonstrated a consistent elongated morphology, while those cultured with the Ni control samples demonstrated changes in cell morphology after 24 h. No significant surface corrosion was observed on the MPEAs or stainless steel samples following the cell culture, while the Ni control samples had extensive corrosion. The cell growth and viability results demonstrate the cytocompatibility of the MPEAs. The biocompatibility of MPEAs should be investigated further to determine if MPEAs may be utilized in orthopedic implants and other biomedical applications.
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