Stretch-mediated responses of osteoblast-like cells cultured on titanium-coated substrates in vitro


Cyclic stretching experiments on osteoblast-like cells have proven to be a useful tool in understanding the underlying mechanisms of load transduction at the bone-implant surface. However, most experimental setups use silicone rubber substrates, which are atypical for orthopedic and dental implant materials. Therefore, we investigated the responses of osteoblast-like cells to loading on titanium (Ti)-coated versus plain silicone substrates. Ti-coated substrates were made by a radio-frequency magnetron sputtering process, and characterized using Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and contact-angle measurements. Osteoblast-like cells cultured from rat bone marrow were seeded on both types of substrates and stretched for 1 h continuously. Subsequently, cell proliferation, alkaline phosphatase activity, and calcium content were measured for up to 24 days after seeding. In addition light-, scanning electron-, and confocal laser scanning micrographs were made. The results showed that our Ti coating had a thickness of 50 nm and contained Ti/oxygen as 1:1. However, further characterization proved that the silicone material had a tendency to resurface through the coating. Osteoblast-like cells proliferated faster on the Ti-coated substrates, but differentiation was slower compared with the silicone substrates. It was concluded that that there was a definitive influence of the substrate material in mechanical stress models. Therefore, extrapolation of results obtained using silicone substrates cannot be translated directly toward the situation of metallic implant materials. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Publication Title

Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A