Evaluation of biocompatibility of a pectin/polyvinyl alcohol composite hydrogel as a new nucleus material

Orthop Surg. 2009 Aug;1(3):231-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1757-7861.2009.00036.x.


Objective: To evaluate the biocompatibility of a new kind of prosthetic nucleus: a pectin/polyvinyl alcohol composite (CoPP) hydrogel.

Methods: According to Chinese national standard GB/-T16886 documents, the toxicity of the CoPP prosthetic nucleus material was examined by cytotoxicity, sensitization, Ames, mice marrow micronucleus, chromosome aberration test of mammalian cell and implantation tests.

Results: Cell growth was similar in the CoPP culture and control groups. No significant difference was found between the CoPP culture and control groups at each time point (P > 0.05). The cell proliferation rate was greater than 100%. In accordance with the relationship between cytotoxicity to proliferation rate, it was confirmed that the cytotoxicity of CoPP was 0 grade. Mice had no allergic reaction when injected with an extract of CoPP. A reverse mutation test with Salmonella typhimurium showed that no significant effect on the number of histidine revertants of TA97, TA98, TA100 and TA102 strains after CoPP was added. The micronucleus rate in bone marrow cells was less than 5%; there was no significant difference compared with the negative control group (P > 0.05). The rate of chromosome aberration was less than 5%; no significant difference was found between the CoPP culture and the control groups. All experimental animal wounds achieved primary healing without exudation, infection or sinus formation. On macroscopic observation, no abscess or hematoma formed at the implantation site.

Conclusion: The CoPP prosthetic nucleus has good biocompatibility and can potentially be used as an implant material.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hydrogel, Polyethylene Glycol Dimethacrylate / chemistry*
  • Implants, Experimental*
  • Intervertebral Disc / cytology
  • Intervertebral Disc / surgery*
  • Male
  • Materials Testing / methods
  • Mice
  • Pectins / chemistry*
  • Polyvinyl Alcohol / chemistry*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Hydrogel, Polyethylene Glycol Dimethacrylate
  • Pectins
  • Polyvinyl Alcohol