Author(s): Webster TJ, Smith TA
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Abstract Nanotechnology creates materials that potentially outperform, at several boundaries, existing materials in terms of mechanical, electrical, catalytic, and optical properties. However, despite their promise to mimic the surface roughness cells experience in vivo, the use of nanophase materials in biological applications remains to date largely unexplored. The objective of the present in vitro study was, therefore, to determine whether when added to a polymer scaffold, nanophase compared to conventional ceramics enhance functions of osteoblasts (or bone-forming cells). Results from this study provided the first evidence that functions (specifically, adhesion, synthesis of alkaline phosphatase, and deposition of calcium-containing mineral) of osteoblasts increased on poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) scaffolds containing nanophase compared to conventional grain size titania with greater weight percentage (from 10-30 wt \%). Because the chemistry, material phase, porosity (\%), and pore size of the composites were similar, this study implies that the surface features created by adding nanophase compared to conventional titania was a key parameter that enhanced functions of osteoblasts. In this manner, the study adds another novel property of nanophase ceramics: their ability to promote osteoblast functions in vitro when added to a polymer scaffold. For this reason, nanophase ceramics (and nanomaterials in general) deserve further attention as orthopedic tissue engineering materials. (c) 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res, 2005.
This article was published in J Biomed Mater Res A
and referenced in Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering