Introduction: Titanium implants can be regarded as the current gold standard for restoration of sound transmission in the middle ear following destruction of the ossicular chain by chronic inflammation. Many efforts have been made to improve prosthesis design, while less attention had been given to the role of the interface. We present a study on chemical nanocoating on microstructured titanium contact surface with bioactive protein.
Materials and Methods: Titanium samples of 5mm diameter and 0,25mm thickness were structured by means of a Ti:Sapphire femtosecond laser operating at 970nm with parallel lines of 5μm depth, 5μm width and 10μm inter-groove distance. In addition, various nanolayers were applied to titanium samples by aminosilanization, to which Star-Polyethylene glycole (Star-PEG) molecules plus biomarkers (e.g. RGD peptide sequence) were linked.
Results: Chondrocytes could be cultured on microstructured surfaces without reduced rate of vital / dead cells compared to native surfaces. Chondrocytes also showed contact guidance by growing along ridges particularly on 5μm lines. On nanocoated titanium samples, first results showed a strong effect of Star-PEG suppressing unspecific protein absorption, while RGD peptide sequence did not promote chondrocyte cell growth.
Discussion: According to these results, the idea of promoting cell growth on titanium prosthesis contact surfaces compared to non-contact surfaces (e.g. prosthesis shaft) by nanocoating is practicable. However, relative selectivity induced by microstructures for growth of chondrocytes compared to fibrocytes is subject to further evaluation.