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1.  Multivalent Integrin-Specific Ligands Enhance Tissue Healing and Biomaterial Integration 
Science translational medicine  2010;2(45):45ra60.
Engineered biointerfaces covered with biomimetic motifs, including short bioadhesive ligands, are a promising material-based strategy for tissue repair in regenerative medicine. Potentially useful coating molecules are ligands for the integrins, major extracellular matrix receptors that require both ligand binding and nanoscale clustering for maximal signaling efficiency. We prepared coatings consisting of well-defined multimer constructs with a precise number of recombinant fragments of fibronectin (monomer, dimer, tetramer, and pentamer) to assess how nanoscale ligand clustering affects integrin binding, stem cell responses, tissue healing, and biomaterial integration. Clinical-grade titanium was grafted with polymer brushes that presented monomers, dimers, trimers, or pentamers of the α5β1 integrin–specific fibronectin III (7 to 10) domain (FNIII7–10). Coatings consisting of trimers and pentamers enhanced integrin-mediated adhesion in vitro, osteogenic signaling, and differentiation in human mesenchymal stem cells more than did surfaces presenting monomers and dimers. Furthermore, ligand clustering promoted bone formation and functional integration of the implant into bone in rat tibiae. This study establishes that a material-based strategy in which implants are coated with clustered bioadhesive ligands can promote robust implant-tissue integration.
doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3001002
PMCID: PMC3128787  PMID: 20720217
2.  The effect of integrin-specific bioactive coatings on tissue healing and implant osseointegration 
Biomaterials  2008;29(19):2849-2857.
Implant osseointegration, defined as bone apposition and functional fixation, is a requisite for clinical success in orthopaedic and dental applications, many of which are restricted by implant loosening. Modification of implants to present bioactive motifs such as the RGD cell-adhesive sequence from fibronectin (FN) represents a promising approach in regenerative medicine. However, these biomimetic strategies have yielded only marginal enhancements in tissue healing in vivo. In this study, clinical-grade titanium implants were grafted with a non-fouling oligo(ethylene glycol)-substituted polymer coating functionalized with controlled densities of ligands of varying specificity for target integrin receptors. Biomaterials presenting the α5β1-integrin-specific FN fragment FNIII7–10 enhanced osteoblastic differentiation in bone marrow stromal cells compared to unmodified titanium and RGD-presenting surfaces. Importantly, FNIII7–10-functionalized titanium significantly improved functional implant osseointegration compared to RGD-functionalized and unmodified titanium in vivo. This study demonstrates that bioactive coatings that promote integrin binding specificity regulate marrow-derived progenitor osteoblastic differentiation and enhance healing responses and functional integration of biomedical implants. This work identifies an innovative strategy for the rational design of biomaterials for regenerative medicine.
doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2008.03.036
PMCID: PMC2397448  PMID: 18406458

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