Cytotoxicity, chemical stability, and surface properties of ferroelectric ceramics for biomaterials

Matias Acosta, Rainer Detsch, Alina Grünewald, Virginia Rojas, Jan Schultheiß, Aleksandra Wajda, Robert W. Stark, Suman Narayan, Maciej Sitarz, Jurij Koruza*, Aldo R. Boccaccini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Surface chemistry and topo-physical properties determine the interactions of biomaterials with their physiological environment. Ferroelectrics hold great promise as the next generation of scaffolds for tissue repair since they feature tunable surface electrical charges, piezoelectricity, and sensing capabilities. We investigate the topography, wettability, chemical stability, and cytotoxicity in salient ferroelectric systems such as (1−x) (Na1/2Bi1/2)TiO3–xBaTiO3, (1−x)Ba(Zr0.2Ti0.8)O3−x(Ba0.7Ca0.3)TiO3, and Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 to test their suitability as biomaterials. The lead-free ferroelectrics promote in vitro cell viability and proliferation to a considerably high extent. 0.94 mol % (Na1/2Bi1/2)TiO3–0.06 mol% BaTiO3 showed the greatest potential leading to a cell viability of (149 ± 30)% and DNA synthesis of (299 ± 85)% in comparison to the reference. Lead leaching from Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 negatively affected the cultured cells. Wettability and chemical stability are key factors that determine the cytotoxicity of ferroelectrics. These variables have to be considered in the design of novel electroactive scaffolds based on ferroelectric ceramics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-449
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • biocompatible materials
  • cytotoxicity
  • ferroelectrics
  • mouse embryonic fibroblasts
  • piezoelectric materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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