The large surface area of highly porous titanium structures produced by additive manufacturing can be modified using biofunctionalizing surface treatments to improve the bone regeneration performance of these otherwise bioinert biomaterials. In this longitudinal study, we applied and compared three types of biofunctionalizing surface treatments, namely acid-alkali (AcAl), alkali-acid-heat treatment (AlAcH), and anodizing-heat treatment (AnH). The effects of treatments on apatite forming ability, cell attachment, cell proliferation, osteogenic gene expression, bone regeneration, biomechanical stability, and bone-biomaterial contact were evaluated using apatite forming ability test, cell culture assays, and animal experiments. It was found that AcAl and AnH work through completely different routes. While AcAl improved the apatite forming ability of as-manufactured (AsM) specimens, it did not have any positive effect on cell attachment, cell proliferation, and osteogenic gene expression. In contrast, AnH did not improve the apatite forming ability of AsM specimens but showed significantly better cell attachment, cell proliferation, and expression of osteogenic markers. The performance of AlAcH in terms of apatite forming ability and cell response was in between both extremes of AnH and AsM. AcAl resulted in significantly larger volumes of newly formed bone within the pores of the scaffold as compared to AnH. Interestingly, larger volumes of regenerated bone did not translate into improved biomechanical stability as AnH exhibited significantly better biomechanical stability as compared to AcAl suggesting that the beneficial effects of cell-nanotopography modulations somehow surpassed the benefits of improved apatite forming ability. In conclusion, the applied surface treatments have considerable effects on apatite forming ability, cell attachment, cell proliferation, and bone ingrowth of the studied biomaterials. The relationship between these properties and the bone-implant biomechanics is, however, not trivial.

Bone grafting, Bone regeneration, Nanotopography, Selective laser melting, Surface chemistry, Surface-cell interaction
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.04.054, hdl.handle.net/1765/63308
Biomaterials
Department of Orthopaedics

Amin Yavari, S, van der Stok, J, Chai, Y.C, Wauthle, R, Tahmasebi Birgani, Z, Habibovic, P, … Zadpoor, A.A. (2014). Bone regeneration performance of surface-treated porous titanium. Biomaterials, 35(24), 6172–6181. doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.04.054