Titanium Oxide Tricking Osteoblast (Bone) Cells

Titanium has been used for quite a long time for implants on the human body, whether this is fillings for someone’s teeth or prosthetic joints. The fact that titanium is light, non-corrosive, durable and non-toxic means that it can be safely and comfortably used without much risk to the patient. But nothing is truly non-corrosive and over a long period of time the titanium can chemically wear into titanium dioxide which can inflame the area around where the implant was placed. Combined with whatever the previous medical condition was this can be very serious yet there has not been many studies into how exactly titanium oxide causes this effect. It turns out that the titanium dioxide forms into anatase, a mineral like form of itself which the bone cells confuse for calcium or phosphorous. This means that the bone cells willingly accept this ion in a mixture of proteins and ions called bio complex leading to a change in behavior of this cell and eventually titanium dioxide poisoning. It is not all negative however as in small doses the titanium oxide changes the function of the cell in a way that could be useful and in fact makes the bone cell return to more juvenile state. This could be used in the future to help human regenerative abilities through the reabsorption of key ions to the bones.


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