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BACKGROUND: Bio-glasses are bioactive materials used to coat implants. The immunological reaction to wear particles from such coatings has hardly been investigated. The generation of reactive
oxygen species by polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) on phagocytosis of particles might elicit further immune reactions. METHODS: The production of reactive oxygen species was investigated in whole blood in the form of chemiluminescence using the probes luminol and lucigenin. RESULTS: Bioglass particles stimulated PMN to generate free radicals as a function of the bioactivity of the composition. This activation was significantly reduced by prior soaking of the particles. Extracts of the
bioactive glasses also inhibited the liberation of free radicals upon the stimulus opsonized zymosan. CONCLUSION: Our results show that despite the proven good biocompatibility of bioactive glasses, further in vivo checks in the early stages of the reaction are needed.