The cytotoxicity of glass ionomer cements (GICs) was investigated using a novel, cost-effective, easy-to-perform and standardized test. GIC rings were made using in-house designed, custom-made moulds under sterile conditions; 10 with Fuji Equia and 10 with Fuji Triage capsules, placed in direct contact with primary human gingival fibroblasts (HGF) and immortalized human fibroblasts (HFF1). On day 1, 4, 14 and 21, an AlamarBlue® (resazurin) assay was completed towards determining the effects of the GICs on metabolic activities of the cells, whilst cell morphology was examined by light microscopy. The influence of the compounds released from the GIC rings on cell physiological effects (viability, proliferation and adhesion) during 24 h incubation was further investigated by impedimetry. Result trends obtained from this battery of techniques were complementary. At 100 v/v% concentration, the released compounds from Equia were strongly cytotoxic, while at lower concentration (0, 4, 20 v/v%) they were not cytotoxic. In contrast, Triage elicited only slightly transient cytotoxicity. The method proposed has been proved as being efficient, reliable and reproducible and may be useful in quick testing of the cytotoxicity of similar biomaterials by using an immortalized cell line.
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