Calcium phosphate thin films enhance the response of human mesenchymal stem cells to nanostructured titanium surfaces

M McCafferty, GA Burke, BJ Meenan

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10 Citations (Scopus)
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The development of biomaterial surfaces possessing the topographical cues that can promote mesenchymal stem cell recruitment and, in particular, those capable of subsequently directing osteogenic differentiation is of increasing importance for the advancement of tissue engineering. While it is accepted that it is the interaction with specific nanoscale topography that induces mesenchymal stem cell differentiation, the potential for an attendant bioactive chemistry working in tandem with such nanoscale features to enhance this effect has not been considered to any great extent. This article presents a study of mesenchymal stem cell response to conformal bioactive calcium phosphate thin films sputter deposited onto a polycrystalline titanium nanostructured surface with proven capability to directly induce osteogenic differentiation in human bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cells. The sputter deposited surfaces supported high levels of human bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cell adherence and proliferation, as determined by DNA quantification. Furthermore, they were also found to be capable of directly promoting significant levels of osteogenic differentiation. Specifically, alkaline phosphatase activity, gene expression and immunocytochemical localisation of key osteogenic markers revealed that the nanostructured titanium surfaces and the bioactive calcium phosphate coatings could direct the differentiation towards an osteogenic lineage. Moreover, the addition of the calcium phosphate chemistry to the topographical profile of the titanium was found to induce increased human bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cell differentiation compared to that observed for either the titanium or calcium phosphate coating without an underlying nanostructure. Hence, the results presented here highlight that a clear benefit can be achieved from a surface engineering strategy that combines a defined surface topography with an attendant, conformal bioactive chemistry to enhance the direct osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering
Early online date28 May 2014
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 May 2014


  • Calcium phosphate thin films
  • titanium nanotopography
  • sputter deposition
  • mesenchymal stem cells
  • osteogenic differentiation

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