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Keywords:

  • self-assembled monolayers;
  • calcium phosphate;
  • protein adsorption;
  • cell attachment;
  • proliferation;
  • alkaline phosphatase activity

Abstract

Bioactive glass (BG) can directly bond to living bone without fibrous tissue encapsulation. Key mechanistic steps of BG's activity are attributed to calcium phosphate formation, surface hydroxylation and fibronectin (FN) adsorption. In the present study, self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of alkanesilanes with different surface chemistry (OH, NH2 and COOH) were used as a model system to mimic BG's surface activity. Calcium phosphate (Ca-P) was formed on SAMs by immersion in a solution that simulates the electrolyte content of physiological fluids. FN adsorption kinetics and monolayer coverage was determined on SAMs with or without Ca-P coating. The surface roughness was also examined on these substrates before and after FN adsorption. The effects of FN-adsorbed, Ca-P-coated SAMs on the function of MC3T3-E1 were evaluated by cell growth, expression of alkaline phosphatase activity and actin cytoskeleton formation. We demonstrate that, although the FN monolayer coverage and the root mean square (rms) roughness are similar on [BOND]OH and [BOND]COOH terminated SAMs with or without Ca-P coating, higher levels of ALP activity, more actin cytoskeleton formation and more cell growth are obtained on [BOND]OH- and [BOND]COOH-terminated SAMs with Ca-P coating. In addition, although the FN monolayer coverage is higher on Ca-P-coated [BOND]NH2-terminated SAMs and SiOx surfaces, higher levels of ALP activity and more cell growth are obtained on Ca-P-coated [BOND]OH- and [BOND]COOH-terminated SAMs. Thus, with the same Ca-P coatings, different surface functional groups have different effects on the function of osteoblastic cells. These findings represent new insights into the mechanism of bioactivity of BG and thereby may lead to designing superior constructs for bone grafting. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.