Keratinocyte Proliferation and Hemidesmosome Formation on Surfaces for Dental Implants: In Vitro Study

Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants. 2023;38(3):496-502. doi: 10.11607/jomi.9894.


Purpose: To demonstrate the likelihood of the polyetheretherketone (PEEK), zirconia (ZrO2), and titanium (Ti) disks to support proliferation and hemidesmosome formation of gingival cells.

Materials and methods: Water contact angle was performed on each material, and surface roughness (Ra) was measured. Scanning electron microscopy and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were used. Later, oral keratinocyte cells were cultured on disks, and metabolic activity and expression of hemidesmosome markers, integrin α6 and β4, in relation to the biomaterial disks at 1, 3, and 5 days of cell culture were quantified. Tissue culture polystyrene was used as the control. Statistical analysis was performed with analysis of variance (ANOVA) with Tukey post hoc comparison test. A P value of < .05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: The water contact angle ranged from 70.2 degrees (Ti) to a maximum of hydrophobicity of 93.3 degrees (PEEK). Ra was highest on ZrO2, followed by PEEK. Ti showed the most keratinocyte metabolic activity at 1, 3, and 5 culture periods. Contrarily, ZrO2 and PEEK disks had lower keratinocyte metabolic activity at all observation times, with no statistical differences between both groups. Integrin α6 and β4 expression was highest on TCPS and ZrO2 compared to Ti and PEEK.

Conclusion: Keratinocytes proliferated faster on Ti than on ZrO2 and PEEK substrates, and expression of hemidesmosome formation markers, integrin α6 and β4, were higher on ZrO2 than either Ti or PEEK. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2023;38:496-502. doi: 10.11607/jomi.9894.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Proliferation
  • Dental Implants*
  • Hemidesmosomes
  • Integrin alpha6
  • Keratinocytes
  • Ketones / chemistry
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry
  • Surface Properties
  • Titanium / chemistry


  • polyetheretherketone
  • Dental Implants
  • Integrin alpha6
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Ketones
  • Titanium