Impaired healing of cortical bone grafts represents a significant clinical problem. Cadaveric bone grafts undergo extensive chemical processing to decrease the risk of disease transmission; however, these processing techniques alter the bone surface and decrease the osteogenic potential of cells at the healing site. Extensive work has been done to optimize the surface of bone grafts, and hydroxyapatite (HAP) and nanotopography both increase osteoblastic differentiation. HAP is the main mineral component of bone and can enhance osteoblastic differentiation and bone implant healing in vivo, while nanotopography can enhance osteoblastic differentiation, adhesion, and proliferation. This is the first study to test the combined effects of HAP and nanotopographies on bone graft healing. With the goal of identifying the optimized surface features to improve bone graft healing, we tested the hypothesis that HAP-based nanotopographic resurfacing of bone grafts improves integration of cortical bone grafts by enhancing osteoblastic differentiation. Here we show that osteoblastic cells cultured on processed bones coated with specific-scale (50-60 nm) HAP nanotopographies display increased osteoblastic differentiation compared to cells on uncoated bone, bones coated with poly-l-lactic acid nanotopographies, or other HAP nanotopographies. Further, bone grafts coated with 50-60-nm HAP exhibited increased formation of new bone and improved healing, with mechanical properties equivalent to live autografts. These data indicate the potential for specific HAP nanotopographies to not only increase osteoblastic differentiation but also improve bone graft incorporation, which could significantly increase patient quality of life after traumatic bone injuries or resection of an osteosarcoma.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering