Aim: The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of a new piezoelectric device, designed for harvesting autogenous bone chips from intra-oral sites, on chip morphology, cell viability and differentiation. Methods: A total of 69 samples of cortical bone chips were randomly gained by either (1) a piezoelectric device (PS), or (2) conventional rotating drills (RD). Shape and size of the bone chips were compared by means of morphometrical analysis. Outgrowing osteoblasts were identified by means of alkaline phosphatase activity (AP), immunhistochemical staining for osteocalcin (OC) synthesis and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction phenotyping. Results: In 88.9% of the RD and 87.9% of the PS specimens, an outgrowth of adherent cells nearby the bone chips was observed after 6–19 days. Confluence of cells was reached after 4 weeks. Positive staining for AP and OC identified the cells as osteoblasts. The morphometrical analysis revealed a statistically significant more voluminous size of the particles collected with PS than RD. Conclusion: Within the limits of the present study, it may be concluded that both the harvesting methods are not different from each other concerning their detrimental effect on viability and differentiation of cells growing out of autogenous bone chips derived from intra-oral cortical sites.
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