Nanocrystalline Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia Ceramics for Cranial Window Applications. Academic Article uri icon


  • Transparent yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) ceramics are promising for cranial window applications because of their good mechanical and optical properties as well as biocompatibility. YSZ discs with different yttria concentrations were either processed via current-activated pressure-assisted densification (CAPAD) using commercial nanoparticles or densified via spark plasma sintering (SPS) using pyrolysis-synthesized nanoparticles in-house. This study provided critical results to screen composition, processing, microstructure, and cytocompatibility of transparent YSZ discs for cranial window applications. CAPAD-processed YSZ discs with 6 or 8 mol % yttria (6YSZ and 8YSZ) and SPS-densified YSZ discs with 4 mol % yttria (4YSZ_P) showed 200-350 nm polycrystalline grains containing 20-30 nm crystallite domains. SPS-densified YSZ discs with 8 mol % yttria (8YSZ_P) showed larger polycrystalline grains of 819 155 nm with 29 5 nm crystallite domains. CAPAD-processed YSZ discs with 3 mol % yttria (3YSZ) showed 39 9 nm grains. Bone-marrow-derived stem cells (BMSCs) on the polished YSZ discs showed statistically higher spreading areas than those on the unpolished YSZ discs of the same compositions. Generally, polished 8YSZ, 4YSZ_P, and 8YSZ_P discs and unpolished 8YSZ_R, 4YSZ_PR, and 8YSZ_PR discs had lower average cell adhesion densities than other YSZ discs under direct contact conditions. Under indirect contact conditions, all the YSZ disc groups showed similar average cell adhesion densities to the Cell-only control. The groups of polished 4YSZ_P and 8YSZ_P discs, unpolished 4YSZ_PR and 8YSZ_PR discs, and particle control of 8YSZ_Pnp showed higher Y3+ ion concentrations than other groups. No mineral deposition was detected on the polished YSZ discs after cell culture. Considering multiple factors such as cytocompatibility, cell adhesion density, Y3+ ion release, mineral deposition, and optical transparency collectively, 8YSZ may be the best candidate for the cranial window applications. Further studies are needed to evaluate the long-term transparency and biocompatibility of YSZ discs.

published proceedings

  • ACS Appl Bio Mater

author list (cited authors)

  • Xu, C., Uahengo, G., Rudnicki, C., Hung, C., Huang, A., Xu, Q., ... Liu, H. H.

complete list of authors

  • Xu, Changlu||Uahengo, Gottlieb||Rudnicki, Christopher||Hung, Chengi||Huang, Aaron||Xu, Queenie||Chen, Yiqing||Halaney, David L||Garay, Javier E||Mangolini, Lorenzo||Aguilar, Guillermo||Liu, Huinan Hannah

publication date

  • January 2022