Our objective in this study was to promote the growth of bone cells on biomedical titanium (Ti) implant surfaces via surface modification involving sandblasting, alkaline etching, and type I collagen immobilization using the natural cross-linker genipin. The resulting surface was characterized in terms topography, roughness, wettability, and functional groups, respectively using field emission scanning electron microscopy, 3D profilometry, and attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. We then evaluated the adhesion, proliferation, initial differentiation, and mineralization of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Results show that sandblasting treatment greatly enhanced surface roughness to promote cell adhesion and proliferation and that the immobilization of type I collagen using genipin enhanced initial cell differentiation as well as mineralization in the extracellular matrix of hMSCs. Interestingly, the nano/submicro-scale pore network and/or hydrophilic features on sandblasted rough Ti surfaces were insufficient to promote cell growth. However, the combination of all proposed surface treatments produced ideal surface characteristics suited to Ti implant applications.
- Alkaline etching
- Cell growth
- Surface modification
- Titanium implant
- Type I collagen immobilization