© 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. The topographical and chemical surface features of biomaterials are sensed by the cells, affecting their physiology at the interface. When placed on titanium, we recently discovered osteoblasts attempted caveolae-mediated phagocytosis of the sharp-edged microstructures. This active, energy-consuming process resulted in decreased osteoblastic cell functions (e.g. secretion of extracellular matrix proteins). However, chemical modification with plasma polymerized allylamine (PPAAm) was able to amplify osteoblast adhesion and spreading, resulting in better implant osseointegration in vivo. In the present in vitro study, we analyzed whether this plasma polymer nanocoating is able to attenuate the microtopography-induced changes of osteoblast physiology. On PPAAm, we found cells showed a higher cell interaction with the geometrical micropillars by 30 min, and a less distinct reduction in the mRNA expression of collagen type I, osteocalcin and fibronectin after 24 h of cell growth. Interestingly, the cells were more active and sensitive on PPAAmcoated micropillars, and react with a substantial Ca 2+ ion mobilization after stimulation with ATP. These results highlight that it is important for osteoblasts to establish cell surface contact for them to perform their functions.
Moerke, C., Staehlke, S., Rebl, H., Finke, B., & Nebe, J. B. (2018). Restricted cell functions on micropillars are alleviated by surface-nanocoating with amino groups. Journal of Cell Science, 131(1), jcs207001. https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.207001