Nanoscale crystallinity modulates cell proliferation on plasma sprayed surfaces

Alan M Smith, Jennifer Z Paxton, Yi-Pei Hung, Martin J Hadley, James Bowen, Richard L Williams, Liam M Grover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Calcium phosphate coatings have been applied to the surface of metallic prostheses to mediate hard and soft tissue attachment for more than 40years. Most coatings are formed of high purity hydroxyapatite, and coating methods are often designed to produce highly crystalline surfaces. It is likely however, that coatings of lower crystallinity can facilitate more rapid tissue attachment since the surface will exhibit a higher specific surface area and will be considerably more reactive than a comparable highly crystalline surface. Here we test this hypothesis by growing a population of MC3T3 osteoblast-like cells on the surface of two types of hip prosthesis with similar composition, but with differing crystallinity. The surfaces with lower crystallinity facilitated more rapid cell attachment and increased proliferation rate, despite having a less heterogeneous surface topography. This work highlights that the influence of the crystallinity of HA at the nano-scale is dominant over macro-scale topography for cell adhesion and growth. Furthermore, crystallinity could be easily adjusted by without compromising coating purity. These findings could facilitate designing novel coated calcium phosphate surfaces that more rapidly bond tissue following implantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-10
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: C
Early online date7 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Animals
  • Calcium Phosphates
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible
  • Crystallization
  • Durapatite
  • Hip Prosthesis
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Nanotechnology
  • Osteoblasts
  • Spectrometry, X-Ray Emission
  • Surface Properties
  • X-Ray Diffraction


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