Engineering a Hybrid Ti6Al4V-Based System for Responsive and Consistent Osteogenesis

Francisca Melo-Fonseca*, Michael Gasik, Andrea Cruz, Daniel Moreira, Filipe S. Silva, Georgina Miranda, Inês Mendes Pinto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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As the aging population increases worldwide, the incidence of musculoskeletal diseases and the need for orthopedic implants also arise. One of the most desirable goals in orthopedic reconstructive therapies is de novo bone formation. Yet, reproducible, long-lasting, and cost-effective strategies for implants that strongly induce osteogenesis are still in need. Nanoengineered titanium substrates (and their alloys) are among the most used materials in orthopedic implants. Although having high biocompatibility, titanium alloys hold a low bioactivity profile. The osteogenic capacity and osseointegration of Ti-based implantable systems are limited, as they critically depend on the body-substrate interactions defined by blood proteins adsorbed into implant surfaces that ultimately lead to the recruitment, proliferation, and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to comply bone formation and regeneration. In this work, a hybrid Ti6Al4V system combining micro- and nanoscale modifications induced by hydrothermal treatment followed by functionalization with a bioactive compound (fibronectin derived from human plasma) is proposed, aiming for bioactivity improvement. An evaluation of the biological activity and cellular responses in vitro with respect to bone regeneration indicated that the integration of morphological and chemical modifications into Ti6Al4V surfaces induces the osteogenic differentiation of MSCs to improve bone regeneration by an enhancement of mineral matrix formation that accelerates the osseointegration process. Overall, this hybrid system has numerous competitive advantages over more complex treatments, including reproducibility, low production cost, and potential for improved long-term maintenance of the implant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8985-8994
Number of pages10
JournalACS Omega
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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