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The cytotoxicity of alloying elements in newly developed biodegradable metals can be assessed through relatively low-cost and rapid in vitro studies using different cell types. However, such approaches have limitations; as such, additional investigations in small mammalian models are required that recapitulate the physiological environment. In this study, we established a zebrafish (Danio rerio) model for cytotoxicity evaluations that combines the physiological aspects of an animal model with the speed and simplicity of a cell-based assay. The model was used to assess the cytotoxicity of five common alloying elements in biodegradable implant materials. Conventional in vitro testing using heart, liver, and endothelial cell lines performed in parallel with zebrafish studies revealed statistically significant differences in toxicity (up to 100-fold), along with distinct changes in the morphology of the heart, liver, and blood vessels that were undetectable in cell cultures. These results indicate that our zebrafish model is a useful alternative to mammalian systems for accurately and rapidly evaluating the in vivo toxicity of newly developed metallic materials.

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Absorbable Implants, Alloys, Animals, Animals, Genetically Modified, Embryo, Nonmammalian, Metals, Models, Animal, Toxicity Tests, Zebrafish