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The Role of Chemistry and Strut Porosity and the Influence of Serum Proteins in Modulating Cellular Response to Bone Graft Substitutes

Principal investigator: Karin HING
Co-investigator(s): Alice Sullivan
Funding source(s): Apatech Ltd
 Start: 01-09-2009  /  End: 30-09-2015
Directly incurred staff: Viviana Castagna

Cell attachment and response to different SBG was assessed to samples in the ‘as received’ condition as well as after a series of sequentially varied pre-treatments with solutions of phosphate buffered saline or cell culture media either unsupplemented or in combination with mixed serum proteins and/or Fibronectin (Fn). This enabled investigation of the effect of sample chemistry and strut porosity on mixed serum protein interactions and Fn adsorption under both competitive and non-competitive conditions, and the study of subsequent regulation of cell attachment and response as a consequence of pre-treatment.

Results showed that serum protein interactions were key to modulation of cell response to chemistry, and there was evidence that for Fn this may be related to conformational changes in the adsorbed protein rather than its level of enrichment in the protein interlayer.

In terms of the materials properties investigated strut porosity was found to be the most dominant factor in the regulation of cell response, where SBG with 30% strut porosity promoted human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) osteoblastic differentiation. Moreover hMSC response to SBG with 30% strut porosity seemed to be less sensitive to pre-treatment.

In conclusion, the results of these experiments indicate that strut porosity more directly influences the cellular response to HA and SA BGS than chemistry in vitro. Moreover, the role that Fn and other serum proteins have in regulating this response is dependent on the physiological environment and BGS chemistry.