Mediation of Osteoblast Responses to Titanium Roughness by Adsorbed Proteins

Wilson, Cameron John (2005) Mediation of Osteoblast Responses to Titanium Roughness by Adsorbed Proteins. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Stable fixation of implants such as artificial teeth depends on the direct apposition of bone to the implanted material. While endosseous implants were traditionally allowed to "osseointegrate" over several months without carrying load, clinical and experimental data show that prostheses with roughened surfaces allow successful integration when subject to earlier loading and more challenging implant sites. However, to design implant surfaces for an optimal biological response requires an understanding of the mechanism by which roughened surfaces promote osseointegration. Research into this mechanism has, to date, focussed primarily on the response of osteoblastic cells to surface topography in vitro. While these have demonstrated some consistent trends in cell behaviour, the fundamental means by which cells sense and respond to roughness remain unclear. It has been suggested that cell responses to changes in topography may relate to differences in the proteins adsorbed from serum (in vitro). While experimental evidence indirectly suggests that physical features can affect protein adsorption, few studies have examined this with respect to surface roughness, particularly as a mediator of cell responses. To address this issue, cell culture and protein adsorption experiments were

conducted on a limited range of surface textures. Titanium samples were ground to

produce morphologically similar surfaces with three grades of roughness. A duplicate set of specimens were heated at 600°C for one hour, with the aim of masking potential variations in physicochemical properties with differing degrees of grinding. Osteoblast attachment and proliferation studies were conducted over a short time-frame of 48 hours or less, to highlight the effects of proteins adsorbed from serum rather than secreted by adherent cells. Gel electrophoresis provided a profile of the proteins adsorbed to each surface after 15 minutes, corresponding to the time by which the cells had settled onto the surface. Finally, confocal microscopy was used to examine cell morphology on each surface, and to visualize specific interactions between cellular structures and adsorbed adhesion-mediating proteins. Although the effects were inconsistent, attachment assays showed some indications that fewer cells attached in the first 90 minutes as roughness increased. This inverse cell number-roughness trend was significant at 48 hours; however, the variability in attachment assays prevented reliable separation of attachment and proliferation rate effects. While the reduction in cell number with increasing roughness is consistent with previous reports, it is typically observed at later time points, and thus may be increasingly confounded by contact inhibition and differentiation. Thermal oxidation of the titanium did not impact on osteoblast responses to roughness, although it significantly slowed cell proliferation. The latter result was unexpected on the basis of previous reports. One-dimensional gel electrophoresis revealed no significant differences in the composition of adsorbed layers with variations in roughness. However, as expected on account of wettability changes, the heat-treatment did correspond to significant changes in the adsorption profile. While this was not a highly sensitive analysis, it suggests that the cell responses to roughness changes were not governed by broadscale differences in the proteins initially available to adhering cells. In addition to the composition of the adsorbed layer, the distribution of proteins may also vary with topography. The immunofluorescence methods were not sufficiently sensitive to reveal the distribution of adsorbed adhesion proteins (vitronectin and fibronectin). However, the lack of clear labelling does suggest an absence of large accumulations due to specific topographic features. Further work is required to address this issue conclusively. Observations of cell morphology were consistent with widely-reported contact guidance phenomena on grooved surfaces, with elongation and alignment (with topography) increasing with groove depth. Cell elongation was also enhanced on the more hydrophilic, heat-treated titanium, but this effect diminished over time. Although increased elongation at 90 minutes corresponded to lower cell numbers at 48 hours, no causal relationship has yet been established.

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ID Code: 16096
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Pearcy, Mark, Leavesley, David, & Pettet, Graeme
Keywords: Biomaterials, Cell attachment, Cell morphology, Cell proliferation, Cell spreading, Fibronectin, Heat treatment, Osteoblasts, Protein adsorption, Roughness, Surface topography, Thermal oxidation, Titanium, Vitronectin.
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Department: Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Cameron Wilson
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:56
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 14:40

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