Interaction of surface energy and microarchitecture in determining cell and tissue response to biomaterials

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Zhao, Ge
Boyan, Barbara D.
Schwartz, Zvi
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Biomaterials are widely used in medical practice to help maintain, improve or restore diseased tissues or organs. The successful integration of biomaterials with host tissue depends on substratum surface properties, as well as host tissue quality and its regulatory environment. The overall goal of this dissertation is to incorporate these three factors to achieve better biomaterial-host tissue interactions. Important surface properties include surface topography, surface energy, chemical composition and surface charge. We designed a new titanium (Ti) substratum with modified surface chemical composition by preventing the contamination when in contact with the atmosphere. The new Ti surface has lower carbon contamination and promotes osteoblast differentiation phenotype. The osteogenic effect is synergistic with micrometer and sub-micrometer scale surface structures. To further investigate the effects of bone quality on peri-implant bone formation, we developed a novel mouse femoral medullary bone formation model. This new model will facilitate research evaluating the effects of biomaterial surface treatments in host animals with deficient bone development, including genetically engineered mice. Finally, we studied sexual dimorphism in the response of osteoblasts to systemic regulatory hormones 1¦Á,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and 17¦Â-estradiol. The results showed intrinsic differences in male and female osteoblasts with respect to their differentiation and their responses to hormones, suggesting that host chromosomal sex should be considered in biomaterial research. Taken together, this research provides fundamental information on biomaterial surface properties and the regulation of host tissue response, which are important in guiding biomaterial design and evaluation.
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