In vitro dermal and epidermal cellular response to titanium alloy implants fabricated with electron beam melting

Jessica Collins Springer, Ola L.A. Harrysson, Denis J Marcellin-Little, Susan H. Bernacki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Transdermal osseointegrated prostheses (TOPs) are emerging as an alternative to socket prostheses. Electron beam melting (EBM) is a promising additive manufacturing technology for manufacture of custom, freeform titanium alloy (Ti6Al4V) implants. Skin ongrowth for infection resistance and mechanical stability are critically important to the success of TOP, which can be influenced by material composition and surface characteristics.We assessed viability and proliferation of normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEK) and normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDF) on several Ti6Al4V surfaces: solid polished commercial, solid polished EBM, solid unpolished EBM and porous unpolished EBM. Cell proliferation was evaluated at days 2 and 7 using alamarBlue® and cell viability was analyzed with a fluorescence-based live-dead assay after 1 week.NHDF and NHEK were viable and proliferated on all Ti6Al4V surfaces. NHDF proliferation was highest on commercial and EBM polished surfaces. NHEK was highest on commercial polished surfaces.All EBM Ti6Al4V discs exhibited an acceptable biocompatibility profile compared to solid Ti6Al4V discs from a commercial source for dermal and epidermal cells. EBM may be considered as an option for fabrication of custom transdermal implants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1367-1372
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Engineering and Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Biocompatibility
  • Electron beam melting
  • Fibroblast
  • Keratinocyte
  • Titanium alloy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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