Three-dimensional quantification of calcium salt-composite resorption (CSC) in vitro by micro-computed tomography (Micro-CT)

T. Winkler, X. Y. Dai, G. Mielke, S. Vogt, H. Buechner, J. T. Schantz, Y. Harder, H. G. Machens, M. M. Morlock, A. F. Schilling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The commonly applied cell-based, two-dimensional (2D) in vitro resorption assays for biomaterials are limited in a variety of cases, including high initial roughness of material surface, uncontrollable solubilization (or resorption) of the entire material surface, or complex three-dimensional (3D) structure of the bioactive material itself. All these make the accurate assessment and successful selection of the optimal bone substitute material difficult. In vivo, micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) has been widely applied for the analysis of bone physiology and pathology, as well as for the 3D analysis of scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. In this study, we show that micro-CT can also be applied for the in vitro analysis of osteoclast-mediated resorption of biomaterials. For our experiments, we chose a calcium salt-composite (composite of calcium sulphate (CSC), calcium carbonate, glycerin-1,2,3-tripalmiate), which evades common 2D in vitro resorption analysis as a result of its high surface roughness and material composition. Human osteoclasts were differentiated from precursor cells on the surface of the material for 28 days. Cells were analyzed for expression of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b (TRAP5b), multinuclearity, and size. Volumetric analysis of resorption was performed by micro-CT. Multinucleated osteoclasts developed on the surface of the material. TRAP5b expression of the cells on CSC was comparable with TRAP5b expression of cells cultivated on dentin for the first 3 weeks of culture. At day 28, TRAP5b expression, cell number, and size of the TRAP+ cells were reduced on the CSC when compared with cells on dentin. Volumetric anaylsis by micro-CT showed a strong cellular effect on resorption of CSC. We consider micro-CT to be a promising technique for 3D quantification of cell-based resorption that will allow the study of cellular resorption of materials in vitro, which were up to now confined to animal experimental analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-565
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


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