• osseointegration;
  • implant;
  • differentiation


The use of metal implants in dental and orthopedic surgery is continuously expanding and highly successful. While today longevity and load-bearing capacity of the implants fulfill the expectations of the patients, acceleration of osseointegration would be of particular benefit to shorten the period of convalescence. To further clarify the options to accelerate the kinetics of osseointegration, within this study, the osteogenic properties of structurally identical surfaces with different metal coatings were investigated. To assess the development and function of primary human osteoblasts on metal surfaces, cell viability, differentiation, and gene expression were determined. Titanium surfaces were used as positive, and surfaces coated with gold were used as negative controls. Little differences in the cellular parameters tested for were found when the cells were grown on titanium discs sputter coated with titanium, zirconium, niobium, tantalum, gold, and chromium. Cell number, activity of cell layer-associated alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and levels of transcripts encoding COL1A1 and BGLAP did not vary significantly in dependence of the surface chemistry. Treatment of the cell cultures with 1,25(OH)2D3/Dex, however, significantly increased ALP activity and BGLAP messenger RNA levels. The data demonstrate that the metal layer coated onto the titanium discs exerted little modulatory effects on cell behavior. It is suggested that the microenvironment regulated by the peri-implant tissues is more effective in regulating the tissue response than is the material of the implant itself. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A, 2013.