The adhesion of osteoblasts to substrates is mediated through proteins that have adsorbed to the substrate, providing integrins on the cell membrane with ligands to connect to. The integrins regulate cell behavior through bi-directional signaling pathways. This critical review has the purpose to consider the research that has been performed with osteoblasts, integrins, and bone replacing materials. Until now, most research has been done to investigate the integrin expression of osteoblasts in culture during cellular adhesion. However, it remains difficult to draw general conclusions from this research. Nevertheless, it can be concluded that the used substrates and protein or peptide coatings can influence the integrin expression and cellular behavior. Additional research has to be done to fully understand all the parameters involved in integrin expression, the adhesion of cells to substrates, and the subsequent cellular behavior. For this purpose, model substrates are under development. The signaling pathway is receiving more and more attention, but for biomaterial purposes, too little consideration is paid to the translation of the in vitro results to the in vivo situation, and to practical applications.

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Department of Internal Medicine

Siebers, M., ter Brugge, P., Walboomers, F., & Jansen, J. (2005). Integrins as linker proteins between osteoblasts and bone replacing materials. A critical review. Biomaterials (Vol. 26, pp. 137–146). doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2004.02.021