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1.  Dendritic Cell Responses to Surface Properties of Clinical Titanium Surfaces 
Acta biomaterialia  2010;7(3):1354-1363.
Dendritic cells (DCs) play pivotal roles in responding to foreign entities during an innate immune response and initiating effective adaptive immunity as well as maintaining immune tolerance. The sensitivity of DCs to foreign stimuli also makes them useful cells to assess the inflammatory response to biomaterials. Elucidating the material property-DC phenotype relationships using a well-defined biomaterial system is expected to provide criteria for immuno-modulatory biomaterial design. Clinical titanium (Ti) substrates, including pretreatment (PT), sand-blasted and acid-etched (SLA), and modified SLA (modSLA), with different roughness and surface energy were used to treat DCs and resulted in differential DC responses. PT and SLA induced a mature DC (mDC) phenotype, while modSLA promoted a non-inflammatory environment by supporting an immature DC (iDC) phenotype based on surface marker expression, cytokine production profiles and cell morphology. Principal component analysis (PCA) confirmed these experimental results, and it also indicated that the non-stimulating property of modSLA covaried with certain surface properties, such as high surface hydrophilicity, % oxygen and % Ti of the substrates. In addition to the previous research that demonstrated the superior osteogenic property of modSLA compared to PT and SLA, the result reported herein indicates that modSLA may further benefit implant osteo-integration by reducing local inflammation and its associated osteoclastogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3031747  PMID: 20977948
dendritic cells; titanium; immune response; inflammation
2.  The role of phospholipase D in osteoblast response to titanium surface microstructure 
Biomaterial surface properties such as microtopography and energy can change cellular responses at the cell-implant interface. Phospholipase D (PLD) is required for the differentiation of osteoblast-like MG63 cells on machined and grit-blasted titanium surfaces. Here, we determined if PLD is also required on microstructured/high-energy substrates and the mechanism involved. shRNAs for human PLD1 and PLD2 were used to silence MG63 cells. Wild-type and PLD1 or PLD1/2 silenced cells were cultured on smooth-pretreatment surfaces (PT); grit-blasted, acid-etched surfaces (SLA); and SLA surfaces modified to have higher surface energy (modSLA). PLD was inhibited with ethanol or activated with 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin-D3 [24R,25(OH)2D3]. As surface roughness/energy increased, PLD mRNA and activity increased, cell number decreased, osteocalcin and osteoprotegerin increased, and protein kinase C (PKC) and alkaline phosphatase specific activities increased. Ethanol inhibited PLD and reduced surface effects on these parameters. There was no effect on these parameters after knockdown of PLD1, but PLD1/2 double knockdown had effects comparable to PLD inhibition. 24R,25(OH)2D3 increased PLD activity and the production of osteocalcin and osteoprotegerin, but decreased cell number on the rough/high-energy surfaces. These results confirm that surface roughness/energy-induced PLD activity is required for osteoblast differentiation and that PLD2 is the main isoform involved in this pathway. PLD is activated by 24R,25(OH)2D3 in a surface-dependent manner and inhibition of PLD reduces the effects of surface microstructure/energy on PKC, suggesting that PLD mediates the stimulatory effect of microstructured/high-energy surfaces via PKC-dependent signaling.
PMCID: PMC4287411  PMID: 19705469
phospholipase D; osteoblast differentiation; titanium surface microstructure and surface energy; vitamin D metabolites; mechanism of cell surface interaction
3.  The responses to surface wettability gradients induced by chitosan nanofilms on microtextured titanium mediated by specific integrin receptors 
Biomaterials  2012;33(30):7386-7393.
Microtexture and chemistry of implant surfaces are important variables for modulating cellular responses. Surface chemistry and wettability are connected directly. While each of these surface properties can influence cell response, it is difficult to decouple their specific contributions. To address this problem, the aims of this study were to develop a surface wettability gradient with a specific chemistry without altering micron scale roughness and to investigate the role of surface wettability on osteoblast response. Microtextured sandblasted/acid-etched (SLA, Sa = 3.1 μm) titanium disks were treated with oxygen plasma to increase reactive oxygen density on the surface. At 0, 2, 6, 10, and 24 h after removing them from the plasma, the surfaces were coated with chitosan for 30 min, rinsed and dried. Modified SLA surfaces are denoted as SLA/h in air prior to coating. Surface characterization demonstrated that this process yielded differing wettability (SLA0 < SLA2 < SLA10 < SLA24) without modifying the micron scale features of the surface. Cell number was reduced in a wettability-dependent manner, except for the most water-wettable surface, SLA24. There was no difference in alkaline phosphatase activity with differing wettability. Increased wettability yielded increased osteocalcin and osteoprotegerin production, except on the SLA24 surfaces. mRNA for integrins α1, α2, α5, β1, and β3 was sensitive to surface wettability. However, surface wettability did not affect mRNA levels for integrin α3. Silencing β1 increased cell number with reduced osteocalcin and osteoprotegerin in a wettability-dependent manner. Surface wettability as a primary regulator enhanced osteoblast differentiation, but integrin expression and silencing β1 results indicate that surface wettability regulates osteoblast through differential integrin expression profiles than microtexture does. The results may indicate that both microtexture and wettability with a specific chemistry have important regulatory effects on osseointegration. Each property had different effects, which were mediated by different integrin receptors.
PMCID: PMC3781581  PMID: 22835642
Wettability; Oxygen plasma; Chitosan; Titanium; Osteoblast; Integrin
4.  Influence of topography and hydrophilicity on initial oral biofilm formation on microstructured titanium surfaces in vitro 
Clinical oral implants research  2011;23(3):301-307.
The aim of this study was to analyse the influence of the microtopography and hydrophilicity of titanium (Ti) substrates on initial oral biofilm formation.
Materials and methods
Nine bacterial species belonging to the normal oral microbiota, including: Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Actinomyces israelii, Campylobacter rectus, Eikenella corrodens, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Parvimonas micra, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, and Streptococcus sanguinis were tested on Ti surfaces: pretreatment (PT [Ra<0.2 μm]), acid-etched (A [Ra<0.8 μm]), A modified to be hydrophilic (modA), sand-blasted/acid-etched (SLA [Ra = 4 μm]), and hydrophilic SLA (modSLA). Disks were incubated for 24 h in anaerobic conditions using a normal culture medium (CM) or human saliva (HS). The total counts of bacteria and the proportion of each bacterial species were analysed by checkerboard DNA–DNA hybridization. Results: Higher counts of bacteria were observed on all surfaces incubated with CM compared with the samples incubated with HS. PT, SLA, and modSLA exhibited higher numbers of attached bacteria in CM, whereas SLA and modSLA had a significant increase in bacterial adhesion in HS. The proportion of the species in the initial biofilms was also influenced by the surface properties and the media used: SLA and modSLA increased the proportion of species like A. actinomycetemcomitans and S. sanguinis in both media, while the adhesion of A. israelii and P. gingivalis on the same surfaces was affected in the presence of saliva.
The initial biofilm formation and composition were affected by the microtopography and hydrophilicity of the surface and by the media used.
PMCID: PMC4287405  PMID: 21492236
biofilm; hydrophilicity; microstructure; titanium
5.  Regulation of Angiogenesis during Osseointegration by Titanium Surface Microstructure and Energy 
Biomaterials  2010;31(18):4909-4917.
Rough titanium (Ti) surface microarchitecture and high surface energy have been shown to increase osteoblast differentiation, and this response occurs through signaling via the α2β1 integrin. However, clinical success of implanted materials is dependent not only upon osseointegration but also on neovascularization in the peri-implant bone. Here we tested the hypothesis that Ti surface microtopography and energy interact via α2β1 signaling to regulate the expression of angiogenic growth factors. Primary human osteoblasts (HOB), MG63 cells and MG63 cells silenced for α2 integrin were cultured on Ti disks with different surface microtopographies and energies. Secreted levels of vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2), epidermal growth factor (EGF), and angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) were measured. VEGF-A increased 170% and 250% in MG63 cultures, and 178% and 435% in HOB cultures on SLA and modSLA substrates, respectively. In MG63 cultures, FGF-2 levels increased 20 and 40-fold while EGF increased 4 and 6-fold on SLA and modSLA surfaces. These factors were undetectable in HOB cultures. Ang-1 levels were unchanged on all surfaces. Media from modSLA MG63 cultures induced more rapid differentiation of endothelial cells and this effect was inhibited by anti-VEGF-A antibodies. Treatment of MG63 cells with 1α,25(OH)2D3 enhanced levels of VEGF-A on SLA and modSLA. Silencing the α2 integrin subunit increased VEGF-A levels and decreased FGF-2 levels. These results show that Ti surface microtopography and energy modulate secretion of angiogenic growth factors by osteoblasts and that this regulation is mediated at least partially via α2β1 integrin signaling.
PMCID: PMC2896824  PMID: 20356623
Titanium; microstructure; surface energy; osteoblast; angiogenesis; VEGF
6.  Microstructured Titanium Regulates Interleukin Production by Osteoblasts, an Effect Modulated by Exogenous BMP-2 
Acta biomaterialia  2012;9(3):5821-5829.
Microtextured implant surfaces increase osteoblast differentiation in vitro and enhance bone-to-implant contact in vivo and clinically. These implants may be used in combination with recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (rhBMP-2) to enhance peri-implant bone formation. However, the effect of surface modifications alone or in combination with rhBMP-2 on osteoblast-produced inflammatory microenvironment is unknown. MG63 cells were cultured on tissue culture polystyrene or titanium substrates: smooth pretreated (PT, Ra=0.2μm), sandblasted/acid-etched (SLA, Ra=3.2μm), or hydrophilic-SLA (modSLA). Expression and protein production of pro-inflammatory interleukins (IL1b, IL6, IL8, IL17) and anti-inflammatory interleukins (IL10) were measured in cells with or without rhBMP-2. To determine which BMP signaling pathways were involved, cultures were incubated with BMP pathway inhibitors to blocking Smad (dorsomorphin), TAB/TAK1 ((5Z)-7-oxozeaenol), or PKA (H-8) signaling. Culture on rough SLA and modSLA surfaces decreased pro-inflammatory interleukins and increased anti-inflammatory IL10. This effect was negated in cells treated with rhBMP-2, which caused an increase in pro-inflammatory interleukins and a decrease in anti-inflammatory interleukins through TAB/TAK signaling. The results suggest that surface microtexture modulates the inflammatory process during osseointegration, an effect that may enhance healing. However, rhBMP-2 in combination with microtextured titanium implants can influence the effect of cells on these surfaces, and may adversely affect cells involved in osseointegration.
PMCID: PMC3618455  PMID: 23123301
Microstructure; Inflammation; BMP (bone morphogenetic protein); Titanium
7.  Sex dependent regulation of osteoblast response to implant surface properties by systemic hormones 
Osseointegration depends on the implant surface, bone quality and the local and systemic host environment, which can differ in male and female patients. This study was undertaken in order to determine if male and female cells respond differently to titanium surfaces that have micron-scale roughness and if interactions of calciotropic hormones [1α,25(OH)2D3 and 17β-oestradiol (E2)] and microstructured surfaces on osteoblasts are sex dependent.
Osteoblasts from 6-week old Sprague-Dawley rats were cultured on tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS) or on titanium (Ti) disks with two different surface topographies, a smooth pretreated (PT) surface and a coarse grit-blasted/acid-etched (SLA) surface, and treated with 1α,25(OH)2D3, E2, or E2 conjugated to bovine serum albumin (E2-BSA).
Male and female cells responded similarly to Ti microstructure with respect to cell number and levels of osteocalcin, transforming growth factor-β1, osteoprotegerin and prostaglandin E2 in their conditioned media, exhibiting a more differentiated phenotype on SLA than on PT or TCPS. E2 and E2-BSA increased differentiation and local factor production, an effect that was microstructure dependent and found only in female osteoblasts. 1α,25(OH)2D3 increased osteoblast differentiation and local factor production in female and male cells, but the effect was more robust in male cells.
Male and female rat osteoblasts respond similarly to surface microstructure but exhibit sexual dimorphism in substrate-dependent responses to systemic hormones. Oestrogen affected only female cells while 1α,25(OH)2D3 had a greater effect on male cells. These results suggest that successful osseointegration in males and females may depend on the implant surface design and correct levels of calciotropic hormones.
PMCID: PMC3010104  PMID: 21208469
8.  The effects of combined micron-/submicron-scale surface roughness and nanoscale features on cell proliferation and differentiation 
Biomaterials  2011;32(13):3395-3403.
Titanium (Ti) osseointegration is critical for the success of dental and orthopaedic implants. Previous studies have shown that surface roughness at the micro- and submicro-scales promotes osseointegration by enhancing osteoblast differentiation and local factor production. Only relatively recently have the effects of nanoscale roughness on cell response been considered. The aim of the present study was to develop a simple and scalable surface modification treatment that introduces nanoscale features to the surfaces of Ti substrates without greatly affecting other surface features, and to determine the effects of such superimposed nano-features on the differentiation and local factor production of osteoblasts. A simple oxidation treatment was developed for generating controlled nanoscale topographies on Ti surfaces, while retaining the starting micro-/submicro-scale roughness. Such nano-modified surfaces also possessed similar elemental compositions, and exhibited similar contact angles, as the original surfaces, but possessed a different surface crystal structure. MG63 cells were seeded on machined (PT), nano-modified PT (NMPT), sandblasted/acid-etched (SLA), and nano-modified SLA (NMSLA) Ti disks. The results suggested that the introduction of such nanoscale structures in combination with micro-/submicro-scale roughness improves osteoblast differentiation and local factor production, which, in turn, indicates the potential for improved implant osseointegration in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3350795  PMID: 21310480
(4 to 6) nanotopography; titanium oxide; surface roughness; titanium; bone; implant; osteoblasts
9.  Role of non-canonical Wnt signaling in osteoblast maturation on microstructured titanium surfaces 
Acta biomaterialia  2011;7(6):2740-2750.
The Wnt signaling pathway inhibitor Dickkopf-2 (Dkk2) regulates osteoblast differentiation on microstructured titanium (Ti) surfaces, suggesting involvement of Wnt signaling in this process. To test this, human osteoblast-like MG63 cells were cultured on tissue culture polystyrene or Ti (smooth PT (Ra = 0.2 μm), sand-blasted and acid-etched SLA (Ra = 3.22 μm), modSLA (hydrophilic SLA)). Expression of Wnt pathway receptors, activators and inhibitors was measured by qPCR. Non-canonical pathway ligands, receptors and intracellular signaling molecules, as well as bone morphogenetic proteins BMP2 and BMP4, were upregulated on SLA and modSLA, whereas canonical pathway members were downregulated. To confirm that non-canonical signaling was involved, cells were cultured daily with exogenous Wnt3a (canonical pathway) or Wnt5a (non-canonical pathway). Alternatively, cells were cultured with antibodies to Wnt3a or Wnt5a to validate that Wnt proteins secreted by the cells were mediating cell responses to the surface. Wnt5a, but not Wnt3a, increased MG63 cell differentiation and BMP2 and BMP4 proteins, suggesting Wnt5a promotes osteogenic differentiation through production of BMPs. Effects of exogenous and endogenous Wnt5a were synergistic with surface microstructure, suggesting the response also depends on cell maturation state. These results indicate a major role for the non-canonical, calcium-dependent Wnt pathway in differentiation of osteoblasts on microstructured titanium surfaces during implant osseointegration.
PMCID: PMC4287412  PMID: 21352958
Cell signaling; Titanium surface roughness; Osteoblast differentiation; Gene expression; Regulatory factors
10.  Mechanisms Regulating Increased Production of Osteoprotegerin by Osteoblasts Cultured on Microstructured Titanium Surfaces 
Biomaterials  2009;30(20):3390-3396.
Osteoblasts grown on microstructured Ti surfaces enhance osteointegration by producing local factors that regulate bone formation as well as bone remodeling, including the RANK ligand decoy receptor osteoprotegerin (OPG). The objective of this study was to explore the mechanism by which surface microstructure and surface energy mediate their stimulatory effects on OPG expression. Titanium disks were manufactured to present different surface morphologies: a smooth pretreatment surface (PT, Ra<0.2μm), microstructured sandblasted/acid etched surface (SLA, Ra=3-4μm), and a microstructured Ti plasma-sprayed surface (TPS, Ra=4μm). Human osteoblast-like MG63 cells were cultured on these substrates and the regulation of OPG production by TGF-β1, PKC, and α2β1 integrin signaling determined. Osteoblasts produced increased amounts of OPG as well as active and latent TGF-β1 and had increased PKC activity when grown on SLA and TPS. Exogenous TGF-β1 increased OPG production in a dose-dependent manner on all surfaces, and this was prevented by adding blocking antibody to the TGF-β type II receptor or by reducing TGF-β1 binding to the receptor by adding exogenous soluble type II receptor. The PKC inhibitor chelerythrine inhibited the production of OPG in a dose-dependent manner, but only in cultures on SLA and TPS. shRNA knockdown of α2 or a double knockdown of α2β1 also reduced OPG, as well as production of TGF-β1. These results indicate that substrate dependent OPG production is regulated by TGF-β1, PKC, and α2β1 and suggest a mechanism by which α2β1-signaling increases PKC, resulting in TGF-β1 production and TGF-β1 then acts on its receptor to increase transcription of OPG.
PMCID: PMC2700751  PMID: 19395022
Osteoblast; TGF-β1; Osteoprotegerin; Titanium; Microtopography
11.  The roles of Wnt signaling modulators Dickkopf-1 (Dkk1) and Dickkopf-2 (Dkk2) and cell maturation state in osteogenesis on microstructured titanium surfaces 
Biomaterials  2009;31(8):2015-2024.
Osteoblast differentiation on tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS) requires Wnt/beta-catenin signaling, regulating modulators of the Wnt pathway like Dickkopf-1 (Dkk1) and Dkk2. Osteoblast differentiation is increased on microstructured titanium (Ti) surfaces compared to TCPS; therefore, we hypothesized that surface topography and hydrophilicity affect Dkk1 and Dkk2 expression and that their roles in osteoblast differentiation on Ti differs depending on cell maturation state. Human osteoblast-like MG63 cells, normal human osteoblasts (HOBs), and human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), as well as MG63 cells stably silenced for Dkk1 or Dkk2 were grown for 6 days on TCPS and Ti surfaces (PT [Ra<0.2 μm], SLA [Ra = 4 μm], modSLA [hydrophilic-SLA]). Dkk1 and Dkk2 mRNA and protein increased on SLA and modSLA for all cell types, but exogenous rhDkk1 and rhDkk2 affected MSCs differently than MG63 cells and HOBs. Silencing Dkk1 reduced MG63 cell number on TCPS and PT, but increased differentiation on these substrates. Silencing Dkk2 reduced stimulatory effects of SLA and modSLA on osteoblast differentiation; Dkk2 but not Dkk1 restored these effects. Antibodies to Dkk1 or Dkk2 specifically blocked substrate-dependent changes caused by the proteins, demonstrating their autocrine action. This indicates major roles for Dkk1 and the canonical Wnt pathway in early-stage differentiation, and for Dkk2 and Wnt/Ca2+-dependent signaling in late-stage differentiation on microstructured and hydrophilic surfaces, during osseointegration.
PMCID: PMC3618462  PMID: 20004015
Osseointegration; Titanium; Osteoblast; Mesenchymal stem cell; Surface roughness; Cell signaling
12.  Use of polyelectrolyte thin films to modulate Osteoblast response to microstructured titanium surfaces 
Biomaterials  2012;33(21):5267-5277.
The microstructure and wettability of titanium (Ti) surfaces directly impact osteoblast differentiation in vitro and in vivo. These surface properties are important variables that control initial interactions of an implant with the physiological environment, potentially affecting osseointegration. The objective of this study was to use polyelectrolyte thin films to investigate how surface chemistry modulates response of human MG63 osteoblast-like cells to surface microstructure. Three polyelectrolytes, chitosan, poly(l-glutamic acid), and poly(l-lysine), were used to coat Ti substrates with two different microtopographies (PT, Sa = 0.37 µm and SLA, Sa = 2.54 µm). The polyelectrolyte coatings significantly increased wettability of PT and SLA without altering micron-scale roughness or morphology of the surface. Enhanced wettability of all coated PT surfaces was correlated with increased cell numbers whereas cell number was reduced on coated SLA surfaces. Alkaline phosphatase specific activity was increased on coated SLA surfaces than on uncoated SLA whereas no differences in enzyme activity were seen on coated PT compared to uncoated PT. Culture on chitosan-coated SLA enhanced osteocalcin and osteoprotegerin production. Integrin expression on smooth surfaces was sensitive to surface chemistry, but microtexture was the dominant variable in modulating integrin expression on SLA. These results suggest that surface wettability achieved using different thin films has a major role in regulating osteoblast response to Ti, but this is dependent on the microtexture of the substrate.
PMCID: PMC3618464  PMID: 22541354
Wettability; Titanium; Surface roughness; Osteoblast
13.  Effect of cleaning and sterilization on titanium implant surface properties and cellular response 
Acta biomaterialia  2011;8(5):1966-1975.
Titanium (Ti) has been widely used as an implant material due to the excellent biocompatibility and corrosion resistance of its oxide surface. Biomaterials must be sterile before implantation, but the effects of sterilization on their surface properties have been less well studied. The effects of cleaning and sterilization on surface characteristics were bio-determined using contaminated and pure Ti substrata first manufactured to present two different surface structures: pretreated titanium (PT, Ra = 0.4 μm) (i.e. surfaces that were not modified by sandblasting and/or acid etching); (SLA, Ra = 3.4 μm). Previously cultured cells and associated extracellular matrix were removed from all bio-contaminated specimens by cleaning in a sonicator bath with a sequential acetone–isopropanol–ethanol–distilled water protocol. Cleaned specimens were sterilized with autoclave, gamma irradiation, oxygen plasma, or ultraviolet light. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), contact angle measurements, profilometry, and scanning electron microscopy were used to examine surface chemical components, hydrophilicity, roughness, and morphology, respectively. Small organic molecules present on contaminated Ti surfaces were removed with cleaning. XPS analysis confirmed that surface chemistry was altered by both cleaning and sterilization. Cleaning and sterilization affected hydrophobicity and roughness. These modified surface properties affected osteogenic differentiation of human MG63 osteoblast-like cells. Specifically, autoclaved SLA surfaces lost the characteristic increase in osteoblast differentiation seen on starting SLA surfaces, which was correlated with altered surface wettability and roughness. These data indicated that recleaned and resterilized Ti implant surfaces cannot be considered the same as the first surfaces in terms of surface properties and cell responses. Therefore, the reuse of Ti implants after resterilization may not result in the same tissue responses as found with never-before-implanted specimens.
PMCID: PMC3618465  PMID: 22154860
Titanium; Sterilization; Roughness; Hydrophilicity; MG63 cells
14.  Osteoblast Lineage Cells Can Discriminate Microscale Topographic Features on Titanium–Aluminum–Vanadium Surfaces 
Annals of Biomedical Engineering  2014;42(12):2551-2561.
Titanium (Ti) and Ti alloys are used in orthopaedic/spine applications where biological implant fixation, or osseointegration, is required for long-term stability. These implants employ macro-scale features to provide mechanical stability until arthrodesis, features that are too large to influence healing at the cellular level. Micron-scale rough Ti alloy (Ti–6Al–4V) increases osteoblastic differentiation and osteogenic factor production in vitro and increases in vivo bone formation; however, effects of overall topography, including sub-micron scale and nanoscale features, on osteoblast lineage cells are less well appreciated. To address this, Ti6Al4V surfaces with macro/micro/nano-textures were generated using sand blasting and acid etching that had comparable average roughness values but differed in other roughness parameters (total roughness, profile roughness, maximum peak height, maximum valley depth, root-mean-squared roughness, kurtosis, skewness) (#5, #9, and #12). Human mesenchymal stem cells (HMSCs) and normal human osteoblasts (NHOst) were cultured for 7 days on the substrates and then analyzed for alkaline phosphatase activity and osteocalcin content, production of osteogenic local factors, and integrin subunit expression. All three surfaces supported osteoblastic differentiation of HMSCs and further maturation of NHOst cells, but the greatest response was seen on the #9 substrate, which had the lowest skewness and kurtosis. The #9 surface also induced highest expression of α2 and β1 integrin mRNA. HMSCs produced highest levels of ITGAV on #9, suggesting this integrin may play a role for early lineage cells. These results indicate that osteoblast lineage cells are sensitive to specific micro/nanostructures, even when overall macro roughness is comparable and suggest that skewness and kurtosis are important variables.
PMCID: PMC4239824  PMID: 25227453
Human mesenchymal stem cells; Osteoblast differentiation; Titanium alloy
15.  Inhibition of Rac and ROCK Signalling Influence Osteoblast Adhesion, Differentiation and Mineralization on Titanium Topographies 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e58898.
Reducing the time required for initial integration of bone-contacting implants with host tissues would be of great clinical significance. Changes in osteoblast adhesion formation and reorganization of the F-actin cytoskeleton in response to altered topography are known to be upstream of osteoblast differentiation, and these processes are regulated by the Rho GTPases. Rac and RhoA (through Rho Kinase (ROCK)). Using pharmacological inhibitors, we tested how inhibition of Rac and ROCK influenced osteoblast adhesion, differentiation and mineralization on PT (Pre-treated) and SLA (sandblasted large grit, acid etched) topographies. Inhibition of ROCK, but not Rac, significantly reduced adhesion number and size on PT, with adhesion size consistent with focal complexes. After 1 day, ROCK, but not Rac inhibition increased osteocalcin mRNA levels on SLA and PT, with levels further increasing at 7 days post seeding. ROCK inhibition also significantly increased bone sialoprotein expression at 7 days, but not BMP-2 levels. Rac inhibition significantly reduced BMP-2 mRNA levels. ROCK inhibition increased nuclear translocation of Runx2 independent of surface roughness. Mineralization of osteoblast cultures was greater on SLA than on PT, but was increased by ROCK inhibition and attenuated by Rac inhibition on both topographies. In conclusion, inhibition of ROCK signalling significantly increases osteoblast differentiation and biomineralization in a topographic dependent manner, and its pharmacological inhibition could represent a new therapeutic to speed bone formation around implanted metals and in regenerative medicine applications.
PMCID: PMC3591363  PMID: 23505566
16.  Enhancement of Surface Wettability via the Modification of Microtextured Titanium Implant Surfaces with Polyelectrolytes 
Micrometer- and submicrometer-scale surface roughness enhances osteoblast differentiation on titanium (Ti) substrates and increases bone-to-implant contact in vivo. However, the low surface wettability induced by surface roughness can retard initial interactions with the physiological environment. We examined chemical modifications of Ti surfaces [pretreated (PT), Ra ≥ 0.3 μm; sand blasted/acid etched (SLA), Ra ≥ 3.0 μm] in order to modify surface hydrophilicity. We designed coating layers of polyelectrolytes that did not alter the surface microstructure but increased surface ionic character, including chitosan (CHI), poly(l-glutamic acid) (PGA), and poly(l-lysine) (PLL). Ti disks were cleaned and sterilized. Surface chemical composition, roughness, wettability, and morphology of surfaces before and after polyelectrolyte coating were examined by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), contact mode profilometry, contact angle measurement, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). High-resolution XPS spectra data validated the formation of polyelectrolyte layers on top of the Ti surface. The surface coverage of the polyelectrolyte adsorbed on Ti surfaces was evaluated with the pertinent SEM images and XPS peak intensity as a function of polyelectrolyte adsorption time on the Ti surface. PLL was coated in a uniform thin layer on the PT surface. CHI and PGA were coated evenly on PT, albeit in an incomplete monolayer. CHI, PGA, and PLL were coated on the SLA surface with complete coverage. The selected polyelectrolytes enhanced surface wettability without modifying surface roughness. These chemically modified surfaces on implant devices can contribute to the enhancement of osteoblast differentiation.
PMCID: PMC4287413  PMID: 21513319
17.  Mediation of Osteogenic Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Titanium Surfaces by a Wnt-Integrin Feedback Loop 
Biomaterials  2011;32(27):6399-6411.
Peri-implant bone formation depends on the ability of mesenchymal cells to colonize the implant surface and differentiate into osteoblasts. Human mesenchymal stem cells (HMSCs) undergo osteoblastic differentiation on microstructured titanium (Ti) surfaces in the absence of exogenous factors, but the mechanisms are unknown. Wnt proteins are associated with an osteoblast phenotype, but how Wnt signaling regulates HMSC differentiation on microstructured Ti surfaces is not known. HMSCs were cultured on tissue culture polystyrene or Ti (PT [Sa=0.33μm, θ=96°], SLA [Sa=2.5μm, θ=132°], modSLA [hydrophilic-SLA]). Expression of calcium-dependent Wnt ligand WNT5A increased and canonical Wnt pathway ligands decreased on microstructured Ti in a time-dependent manner. Treatment of HMSCs with canonical ligand Wnt3a preserved the mesenchymal phenotype on smooth surfaces. Treatment with Wnt5a increased osteoblastic differentiation. Expression of integrins ITGA1, ITGA2, and ITGAV increased over time and correlated with increased WNT5A expression. Treatment of HMSCs with Wnt5a, but not Wnt3a, increased integrin expression. Regulation of integrin expression due to surface roughness and energy was ablated in WNT5A-knockdown HMSCs. This indicates that surface properties regulate stem cell fate and induce osteoblast differentiation via the Wnt calcium-dependent pathway. Wnt5a enhances osteogenesis through a positive feedback with integrins and local factor regulation, particularly though BMP signaling.
PMCID: PMC3350791  PMID: 21636130
Cell signaling; Surface roughness; Titanium; Stem cell; Growth factors
18.  Polyspecies biofilm formation on implant surfaces with different surface characteristics 
To investigate the microbial adherence and colonization of a polyspecies biofilm on 7 differently processed titanium surfaces.
Material and Methods:
Six-species biofilms were formed anaerobically on 5-mm-diameter sterilized, saliva-preconditioned titanium discs. Material surfaces used were either machined, stained, acid-etched or sandblasted/acid-etched (SLA). Samples of the latter two materials were also provided in a chemically modified form, with increased wettability characteristics. Surface roughness and contact angles of all materials were determined. The discs were then incubated anaerobically for up to 16.5 h. Initial microbial adherence was evaluated after 20 min incubation and further colonization after 2, 4, 8, and 16.5 h using non-selective and selective culture techniques. Results at different time points were compared using ANOVA and Scheffé post hoc analysis.
The mean differences in microorganisms colonizing after the first 20 min were in a very narrow range (4.5 to 4.8 log CFU). At up to 16.5 h, the modified SLA surface exhibited the highest values for colonization (6.9±0.2 log CFU, p<0.05) but increasing growth was observed on all test surfaces over time. Discrepancies among bacterial strains on the differently crafted titanium surfaces were very similar to those described for total log CFU. F. nucleatum was below the detection limit on all surfaces after 4 h.
Within the limitations of this in vitro study, surface roughness had a moderate influence on biofilm formation, while wettability did not seem to influence biofilm formation under the experimental conditions described. The modified SLA surface showed the highest trend for bacterial colonization.
PMCID: PMC3881803  PMID: 23559112
Dental implants; Titanium; Biofilms; Surface properties; Wettability
19.  Effect of heat treatment on H2O2/HCl etched pure titanium dental implant: An in vitro study 
Surface chemistry of dental implant plays an important role in osseointegration. Heat treatment might alter surface chemistry and result in different biological response. The aim of this study was to investigate the roles of heat treatment of H2O2/HCl-treated Ti implants in cell attachment, proliferation and osteoblastic differentiation.
Sandblasted, dual acid-etched and H2O2/HCl heat-treated discs were set as the control group and sandblasted, dual acid-etched H2O2/HCl-treated discs were the test group. Both groups’ discs were sent for surface characterization. MC3T3-E1 cells were seeded on these 2 groups’ discs for 3 hours to 14 days, and then cell attachment, cell proliferation and cell differentiation were evaluated.
Scanning electron microscope analysis revealed that the titanium discs in the 2 groups shared the same surface topography, while x-ray diffraction examination showed an anatase layer in the control group and titanium hydride diffractions in the test group. The cell attachment of the test group was equivalent to that of the control group. Cell proliferation was slightly stimulated at all time points in the control group, but the alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and osteocalcin (OC) production increased significantly in the test group compared with those in the control group at every time point investigated (p<0.05 or p<0.01). Moreover, the osteoblastic differentiation-related genes AKP-2, osteopontin (OPN) and OC were greatly up-regulated in the test group (p<0.05 or p<0.01).
The results implied that surface chemistry played an important role in cell response, and H2O2/HCl etched titanium surface without subsequent heat treatment might improve osseointegration response.
PMCID: PMC3560775  PMID: 22739726
titanium implant; heat treatment; anatase; titanium hydride
20.  Differential Expression of Osteo-Modulatory Molecules in Periodontal Ligament Stem Cells in Response to Modified Titanium Surfaces 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:452175.
This study assessed differential gene expression of signaling molecules involved in osteogenic differentiation of periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs) subjected to different titanium (Ti) surface types. PDLSCs were cultured on tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS), and four types of Ti discs (PT, SLA, hydrophilic PT (pmodPT), and hydrophilic SLA (modSLA)) with no osteoinductive factor and then osteogenic activity, including alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, mRNA expression of runt-related gene 2, osterix, FOSB, FRA1, and protein levels of osteopontin and collagen type IA, were examined. The highest osteogenic activity appeared in PDLSCs cultured on SLA, compared with the TCPS and other Ti surfaces. The role of surface properties in affecting signaling molecules to modulate PDLSC behavior was determined by examining the regulation of Wnt pathways. mRNA expression of the canonical Wnt signaling molecules, Wnt3a and β-catenin, was higher on SLA and modSLA than on smooth surfaces, but gene expression of the calcium-dependent Wnt signaling molecules Wnt5a, calmodulin, and NFATc1 was increased significantly on PT and pmodPT. Moreover, integrin α2/β1, sonic hedgehog, and Notch signaling molecules were affected differently by each surface modification. In conclusion, surface roughness and hydrophilicity can affect differential Wnt pathways and signaling molecules, targeting the osteogenic differentiation of PDLSCs.
PMCID: PMC4095730  PMID: 25057487
21.  Osteoblasts exhibit a more differentiated phenotype and increased bone morphogenetic protein production on titanium alloy substrates than on poly-ether-ether-ketone 
Background Context
Multiple biomaterials are clinically available to spine surgeons for performing interbody fusion. Poly-ether-ether-ketone (PEEK) is used frequently for lumbar spine interbody fusion, but alternative materials are also used, including titanium (Ti) alloys. Previously, we showed that osteoblasts exhibit a more differentiated phenotype when grown on machined or grit-blasted titanium aluminum vanadium (Ti6Al4V) alloys with micron-scale roughened surfaces than when grown on smoother Ti6Al4V surfaces or on tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS). We hypothesized that osteoblasts cultured on rough Ti alloy substrates would present a more mature osteoblast phenotype than cells cultured on PEEK, suggesting that textured Ti6Al4V implants may provide a more osteogenic surface for interbody fusion devices.
The aim of the present study was to compare osteoblast response to smooth Ti6Al4V (sTiAlV) and roughened Ti6Al4V (rTiAlV) with their response to PEEK with respect to differentiation and production of factors associated with osteogenesis.
Study Design
This in vitro study compared the phenotype of human MG63 osteoblast-like cells cultured on PEEK, sTiAlV, or rTiAlV surfaces and their production of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs).
Surface properties of PEEK, sTiAlV, and rTiAlV discs were determined. Human MG63 cells were grown on TCPS and the discs. Confluent cultures were harvested, and cell number, alkaline phosphatase–specific activity, and osteocalcin were measured as indicators of osteoblast maturation. Expression of messenger RNA (mRNA) for BMP2 and BMP4 was measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Levels of BMP2, BMP4, and BMP7 proteins were also measured in the conditioned media of the cell cultures.
Although roughness measurements for sTiAlV (Sa=0.09±0.01), PEEK (Sa=0.43±0.07), and rTiAlV (Sa= 1.81±0.51) varied, substrates had similar contact angles, indicating comparable wettability. Cell morphology differed depending on the surface. Cells cultured on Ti6Al4V had lower cell number and increased alkaline phosphatase specific activity, osteocalcin, BMP2, BMP4, and BMP7 levels in comparison to PEEK. In particular, roughness significantly increased the mRNA levels of BMP2 and BMP4 and secreted levels of BMP4.
These data demonstrate that rTiAlV substrates increase osteoblast maturation and produce an osteogenic environment that contains BMP2, BMP4, and BMP7. The results show that modifying surface structure is sufficient to create an osteogenic environment without addition of exogenous factors, which may induce better and faster bone during interbody fusion.
PMCID: PMC3618467  PMID: 22424980
Ti6Al4V; PEEK; Osteoblast; BMP; Roughness
22.  Evaluation of Light-Emitting Diode (LED-660 Nm) Application over Primary Osteoblast-Like Cells on Titanium Surfaces: An In Vitro Study 
Background: The goal of this study was to evaluate the behavior of neonatal rat calvarial osteoblast-like cells cultured on different implant surfaces and exposed once or three times to a 660-nm light-emitting diode (LED).
Methods: An LED with a 660-nm wavelength was applied once or three times to cultured cells on standard and modified sandblasted acid-etched surfaces (SLA and SLActive; Straumann, Basel, Switzerland). To analyze the effect of the LED on cell proliferation, numbers, and viability, cells were cultured on titanium discs, and measurements were taken after 72 h. Cell proliferation rates were assessed using a bromodeoxyuridine immunohistochemical technique. Cell morphologies were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
Results: Osteoblast-like cells proliferated on all tested surfaces, with differences among groups in cell counts and DNA synthesis values. The application of one LED treatment caused a significant increase in cell count in the SLActive group in comparison with the SLA group (p = 0.001), whereas the application of three LED treatments caused a significant decrease in cell count in the SLA group compared with the SLActive group (p < 0.001). After 72 h, the number of cells was highest in the SLActive group exposed once to the LED.
Conclusions: One LED application in the SLActive group resulted in significantly increased cell numbers. However, these findings were not exactly compatible with the SEM findings, which demonstrated fewer cells and weak attachments between cells and to the surface. Thus, further studies using different LED application times are needed to clarify the reason for the increased number of cells that are apparently incapable of attaching to the titanium surfaces after 72 h.
PMCID: PMC3198254  PMID: 22022211
Light-emitting diode; SLA and SLActive surface; primary osteoblast cell culture
23.  Surface Properties and Osteoblastic Cytocompatibility of Two Blasted and Acid-Etched Titanium Implant Systems with Distinct Microtopography 
The aim of this study is to compare two commercially available screw-type sandblasted and acid-etched (SLA) Ti implant systems from Eckermann Laboratorium S.L., with similar geometry and distinct microtopography, regarding surface properties and osteoblastic cytocompatibility.
Material and Methods
Implant I (referred as a conventional SLA system) and Implant II (a system patented as Eckcyte®) were characterized for macro and microtopograpphy, surface roughness and chemical composition. For the cytocompatibility studies, human bone marrow osteoblastic cells were seeded over the implants' surface, and the cell response was assessed for cell adhesion and proliferation, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and matrix mineralization.
Implant I presented a rough surface with irregularly shaped and sized cavities among flatter-appearing areas, whereas Implant II exhibited a homogeneous rough microporous surface. Compared to Implant I, Implant II presented higher Ra values (0.8 [SD 0.008] μm and 1.21 [SD 0.15] μm, respectively, P < 0.05) and also increased values of Rz, Rt and Rsm, a more negative value of Rsk, and similar RKu values. XPS showed the expected presence of Ti, O, C and N; Al, Si, F, P and Ca were detected in low concentrations. Implant II exhibited significantly lower Al levels. Both implants supported the adhesion, proliferation and differentiation of osteoblastic cells. Implant II showed a thicker fibrilar cell layer and an earlier onset and more abundant matrix mineralization.
The homogeneous rough and microporous surface of Implant II is most probably a main contributor for its improved cell response.
PMCID: PMC3886090  PMID: 24422006
dental implants; surface properties; bone marrow; osteoblasts; differentiation cell; cell culture.
24.  Osteoblast response to titanium surfaces functionalized with extracellular matrix peptide biomimetics 
Clinical oral implants research  2011;22(8):865-872.
Functionalizing surfaces with specific peptides may aid osteointegration of orthopedic implants by favoring attachment of osteoprogenitor cells and promoting osteoblastic differentiation. This study addressed the hypothesis that implant surfaces functionalized with peptides targeting multiple ligands will enhance osteoblast attachment and/or differentiation. To test this hypothesis, we used titanium (Ti) surfaces coated with poly-l-lysine-grafted polyethylene glycol (PLL-g-PEG) and functionalized with two peptides found in extracellular matrix proteins, arginine–glycine–aspartic acid (RGD) and lysine–arginine–serine–arginine (KRSR), which have been shown to increase osteoblast attachment. KSSR, which does not promote osteoblast attachment, was used as a control.
Materials and methods
Sandblasted acid-etched titanium surfaces were coated with PLL-g-PEG functionalized with varying combinations of RGD and KRSR, as well as KSSR. Effects of these surfaces on osteoblasts were assessed by measuring cell number, alkaline phosphatase-specific activity, and levels of osteocalcin, transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1), and PGE2.
RGD increased cell number, but decreased markers for osteoblast differentiation. KRSR alone had no effect on cell number, but decreased levels of TGF-β1 and PGE2. KRSR and RGD/KRSR coatings inhibited osteoblast differentiation vs. PLL-g-PEG. KSSR decreased cell number and increased osteoblast differentiation, indicated by increased levels of osteocalcin and PGE2.
The RGD and KRSR functionalized surfaces supported attachment but did not enhance osteoblast differentiation, whereas KSSR increased differentiation. RGD decreased this effect, suggesting that multifunctional peptide surfaces can be designed that improve peri-implant healing by optimizing attachment and proliferation as well as differentiation of osteoblasts, but peptide combination, dose and presentation are critical variables.
PMCID: PMC4287399  PMID: 21244501
KRSR; KSSR; microstructure; non-fouling; osteoblast differentiation; PLL-g-PEG; RGD; surface modification; surface roughness; titanium
25.  Comparison of removal torques between laser-treated and SLA-treated implant surfaces in rabbit tibiae 
The purpose of this study was to compare removal torques and surface topography between laser treated and sandblasted, large-grit, acid-etched (SLA) treated implants.
Laser-treated implants (experimental group) and SLA-treated implants (control group) 8 mm in length and 3.4 mm in diameter were inserted into both sides of the tibiae of 12 rabbits. Surface analysis was accomplished using a field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM; Hitachi S-4800; Japan) under ×25, ×150 and ×1,000 magnification. Surface components were analyzed using energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). Rabbits were sacrificed after a 6-week healing period. The removal torque was measured using the MGT-12 digital torque meter (Mark-10 Co., Copiague, NY, USA).
In the experimental group, the surface analysis showed uniform porous structures under ×25, ×150 and ×1,000 magnification. Pore sizes in the experimental group were 20-40 mm and consisted of numerous small pores, whereas pore sizes in the control group were 0.5-2.0 mm. EDS analysis showed no significant difference between the two groups. The mean removal torque in the laser-treated and the SLA-treated implant groups were 79.4 Ncm (SD = 20.4; range 34.6-104.3 Ncm) and 52.7 Ncm (SD = 17.2; range 18.7-73.8 Ncm), respectively. The removal torque in the laser-treated surface implant group was significantly higher than that in the control group (P=.004).
In this study, removal torque values were significantly higher for laser-treated surface implants than for SLA-treated surface implants.
PMCID: PMC4146731  PMID: 25177474
Sandblasted large-grit acid-etched; Laser treatment; Removal torque; Scanning electron microscope; Energy dispersive spectroscopy

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