Effect of Short-Time Povidone-Iodine Application on Osteoblast Proliferation and Differentiation

P.R Schmidlin1, T Imfeld1, P Sahrmann1, A Tchouboukov2, F.E Weber2, *
1 Clinic for Preventive Dentistry, Periodontology and Cariology, Center of Dental Medicine, University of Zürich, Switzerland
2 Oral Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Department of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 337
Abstract HTML Views: 125
PDF Downloads: 81
Total Views/Downloads: 543
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 219
Abstract HTML Views: 93
PDF Downloads: 68
Total Views/Downloads: 380

Creative Commons License
© Schmidlin et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Oral Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Department of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospital Zurich, Frauenklinikstrasse 24, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland; Tel: +41 44 255 5055; Fax: +41 44 255 4179; E-mail:


Background and Objective:

Povidone-iodine [polyvinylpyrrolidone-iodine complex (PVP-I)] is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent, frequently used in dentistry. In this study we investigated the short- and longterm effects on osteoblast number, viability, and function after short exposure to PVP-I with and without additional bone-morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2).

Material and Methods:

Confluent osteoblast-like cell line (MC3T3-E1, subclone 24) cultures were exposed to pure PVP-I solution (7.7 mg/ml) and dilutions of 1:10, 1:100 and 1:1000 for 10 seconds and washed with phosphate buffer solution. Cell proliferation and viability was determined by MTT and differentiation status by alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity 6 days after initial plating. In a separate experiment, long-term cell proliferation, viability and function were assessed 4 weeks after PVP-I treatment by MTT and deposited calcium using an Alizarin-red staining test.


PVP-I decreased ALP activity substantially. Stimulation by BMP-2 recovered ALP activity to near control levels at 1:100 and 1:1000 dilutions of PVP-I. The MTT assay showed reduced proliferation of the preosteoblastic cells for all treatments, irrespective whether BMP-2 was used or not. Only at PVP-I dilutions of 1:1000 proliferation rate was back to normal levels (95.6±2.4 %). No adverse long-term effect of PVP-I on mineralization of the extracellular matrix (Alizarinred) for dilutions higher than 1:100 was observed. Interestingly, undiluted and 1:10 diluted PVP-I even showed a significant increase in mineral deposition, especially in the presence of BMP-2.


Short-time application of PVP-I in concentrations of 1:10 and higher lead to decreased viability and impaired differentiation. However, surviving cells showed good recovery and mineralization potential.

Keywords: Iodine, osteoblast, cytotoxicity, alkaline phosphatase, dose-effect.