Gene expression profiling of bone cells on smooth and rough titanium surfaces

Harle, J.; Salih, V.; Olsen, I.; Brett, P.M.; Jones, F.H. and Tonetti, M. (2004). Gene expression profiling of bone cells on smooth and rough titanium surfaces. Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine, 15(11) pp. 1255–1258.




Titanium (Ti) and Ti alloys are widely used as dental and orthopaedic implants, but the effects of the surface characteristics of these materials on the response of cells and target tissues is not well understood. The present study has therefore examined the effects of a rough Ti (RT) and a smooth Ti (ST) surface on human bone cells in vitro. Scanning electron microscopy showed attachment and spreading of cells on both surfaces. Expression profiling using ATLAS™ gene arrays showed marked differences in gene responses after 3 h of culture. A number of osteoblast genes were identified as "roughness response" genes on the basis of changes in expression on the RT compared with the ST surfaces. The surface roughness of Ti was thus found to have a profound effect on the profile of genes expressed by the bone cells, and suggests that improvements in the biological activity and possibly the clinical efficacy of these materials could be achieved by selective regulation of gene expression mediated by controlled modification of Ti surface.

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