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Nanolamellar Tantalum Interfaces in the Osteoblast Adhesion

An, Rong, Fan, Peng Peng, Zhou, Ming Jun, Wang, Yue, Goel, Sunkulp, Zhou, Xue Feng, Li, Wei, Wang, Jing Tao
Langmuir 2019 v.35 no.7 pp. 2480-2489
CD29 antigen, adhesion, adsorption, alkaline phosphatase, atomic force microscopy, bone formation, enzyme activity, osteoblasts, prostheses, tantalum
The design of topographically patterned surfaces is considered to be a preferable approach for influencing cellular behavior in a controllable manner, in particular to improve the osteogenic ability of bone regeneration. In this study, we fabricated nanolamellar tantalum (Ta) surfaces with lamellar wall thicknesses of 40 and 70 nm. The cells attached to nanolamellar Ta surfaces exhibited higher protein adsorption and expression of β1 integrin, as compared to the nonstructured bulk Ta, which facilitated the initial cell attachment and spreading. We thus, as expected, observed significantly enhanced osteoblast adhesion, growth, and alkaline phosphatase activity on nanolamellar Ta surfaces. However, the beneficial effects of nanolamellar structures on osteogenesis became weaker as the lamellar wall thickness increased. The interaction between cells and Ta surfaces was examined through adhesion forces using atomic force microscopy. Our findings indicated that the Ta surface with a lamellar wall thickness of 40 nm exhibited the strongest stimulatory effect. The observed strongest adhesion force between the cell-attached tip and the Ta surface with a 40 nm thick lamellar wall encouraged the much stronger binding of cells with the surface and thus well-attached, -stretched, and -grown cells. We attributed this to the increase in the available contact area of cells with the thinner nanolamellar Ta surface. The increased contact area allowed the enhancement of the cell surface interaction strength and, thus, improved osteoblast adhesion. This study suggests that the thin nanolamellar topography shows immense potential in improving the clinical performance of dental and orthopedic implants.