Author(s): Webster TJ, Ejiofor JU
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Abstract Previous studies have demonstrated increased functions of osteoblasts (bone-forming cells) on nanophase compared to conventional ceramics (specifically, alumina, titania, and hydroxyapatite), polymers (such as poly lactic-glycolic acid and polyurethane), carbon nanofibers/nanotubes, and composites thereof. Nanophase materials are unique materials that simulate dimensions of constituent components of bone since they possess particle or grain sizes less than 100 nm. However, to date, interactions of osteoblasts on nanophase compared to conventional metals remain to be elucidated. For this reason, the objective of the present in vitro study was to synthesize, characterize, and evaluate osteoblast adhesion on nanophase metals (specifically, Ti, Ti6Al4V, and CoCrMo alloys). Such metals in conventional form are widely used in orthopedic applications. Results of this study provided the first evidence of increased osteoblast adhesion on nanophase compared to conventional metals. Interestingly, osteoblast adhesion occurred preferentially at surface particle boundaries for both nanophase and conventional metals. Since more particle boundaries are present on the surface of nanophase compared to conventional metals, this may be an explanation for the measured increased osteoblast adhesion. Lastly, material characterization studies revealed that nanometal surfaces possessed similar chemistry and only altered in degree of nanometer surface roughness when compared to their respective conventional counterparts. Because osteoblast adhesion is a necessary prerequisite for subsequent functions (such as deposition of calcium-containing mineral), the present study suggests that nanophase metals should be further considered for orthopedic implant applications.
This article was published in Biomaterials
and referenced in Journal of Powder Metallurgy & Mining