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Acta Biomater. 2010 Jun;6(6):2352-62. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2009.12.016. Epub 2009 Dec 11.

Nanotextured titanium surfaces for enhancing skin growth on transcutaneous osseointegrated devices.

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  • 1Division of Engineering, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.


A major problem with transcutaneous osseointegrated implants is infection, mainly due to improper closure of the implant-skin interface. Therefore, the design of transcutaneous osseointegrated devices that better promote skin growth around these exit sites needs to be examined and, if successful, would clearly limit infection. Due to the success already demonstrated for orthopedic implants, developing surfaces with biologically inspired nanometer features is a design criterion that needs to be investigated for transcutaneous devices. This study therefore examined the influence of nanotextured titanium (Ti) created through electron beam evaporation and anodization on keratinocyte (skin-forming cell) function. Electron beam evaporation created Ti surfaces with nanometer features while anodization created Ti surfaces with nanotubes. Conventional Ti surfaces were largely micron rough, with few nanometer surface features. Results revealed increased keratinocyte adhesion in addition to increased keratinocyte spreading and differences in keratinocyte filopodia extension on the nanotextured Ti surfaces prepared by either electron beam evaporation or anodization compared to their conventional, unmodified counterparts after 4h. Results further revealed increased keratinocyte proliferation and cell spreading over 3 and 5days only on the nanorough Ti surfaces prepared by electron beam evaporation compared to both the anodized nanotubular and unmodified Ti surfaces. Therefore, the results from this in vitro study provided the first evidence that nano-modification techniques should be further researched as a means to possibly improve skin growth, thereby improving transcutaneous osseointegrated orthopedic implant longevity.

Copyright 2009 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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