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1.  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
2.  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
3.  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
4.  Direct and Indirect Effects of Microstructured Titanium Substrates on the Induction of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Differentiation towards the Osteoblast Lineage 
Biomaterials  2010;31(10):2728.
Microstructured and high surface energy titanium substrates increase osseointegration in vivo. In vitro, osteoblast differentiation is increased, but effects of the surface directly on multipotent mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and consequences for MSCs in the peri-implant environment are not known. We evaluated responses of human MSCs to substrate surface properties and examined the underlying mechanisms involved. MSCs exhibited osteoblast characteristics (alkaline phosphatase, RUNX2, and osteocalcin) when grown on microstructured Ti; this effect was more robust with increased hydrophilicity. Factors produced by osteoblasts grown on microstructured Ti were sufficient to induce co-cultured MSC differentiation to osteoblasts. Silencing studies showed that this was due to signaling via α2β1 integrins in osteoblasts on the substrate surface and paracrine action of secreted Dkk2. Thus, human MSCs are sensitive to substrate properties that induce osteoblastic differentiation; osteoblasts interact with these surface properties via α2β1 and secrete Dkk2, which acts on distal MSCs.
PMCID: PMC2821717  PMID: 20053436

Results 1-4 (4)