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Decreased Fibroblast and Increased Osteoblast Functions on Ionic Plasma Deposited Nanostructured Ti Coatings

Ariel Cohen1, Peishan Liu-Synder1, Dan Storey2 and Thomas J Webster1*

Author Affiliations

1 Divisions of Engineering and Orthopaedics, Brown University, 184 Hope Street, Providence, RI, 02912, USA

2 Ionic Fusion, Longmont, CO, 70501, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2007, 2:385-390  doi:10.1007/s11671-007-9069-1

Published: 4 July 2007


Bioactive coatings are in high demand to control cellular functions for numerous medical devices. The objective of this in vitro study was to characterize for the first time fibroblast (fibrous scar tissue forming cells) adhesion and proliferation on an important polymeric biomaterial (silicone) coated with titanium using a novel ionic plasma deposition (IPD) process. Fibroblasts are one of the first anchorage-dependent cells to arrive at an implant surface during the wound healing process. Persistent excessive functions of fibroblasts have been linked to detrimental fibrous tissue formation which may cause implant failure. The IPD process creates a surface-engineered nanostructure (with features usually below 100 nm) by first using a vacuum to remove all contaminants, then guiding charged metallic ions or plasma to the surface of a medical device at ambient temperature. Results demonstrated that compared to currently used titanium and uncoated silicone, silicone coated with titanium using IPD significantly decreased fibroblast adhesion and proliferation. Results also showed competitively increased osteoblast (bone-forming cells) over fibroblast adhesion on silicone coated with titanium; in contrast, osteoblast adhesion was not competitively increased over fibroblast adhesion on uncoated silicone or titanium controls. In this manner, this study strongly suggests that IPD should be further studied for biomaterial applications in which fibrous tissue encapsulation is undesirable (such as for orthopedic implants, cardiovascular components, etc.).

Nanometer; Coatings; Fibroblasts; Osteoblasts; Orthopedic