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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2006 Sep 1;78(3):433-40.

Osteoblast-like cell attachment to and calcification of novel phosphonate-containing polymeric substrates.

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Department of Bioengineering, The University of Illinois, Chicago, 60612, USA.


In an attempt to interact natural bone and bone cells with biomaterials and to begin to develop modular tissue engineering scaffolds, substrates containing phosphonate groups were identified to mimic mineral-protein and natural polymer-protein interactions. In this study, we investigated poly(vinyl phosphonic acid) copolymer integration with existing materials as a graft-copolymer surface modification. Phosphonate-containing copolymer-modified surfaces were created and shown to have varying phosphate content within different polymeric surfaces. As the phosphonate content in the monomer feed approached 30% vinyl phosphonic acid, increased osteoblast-like cell adhesion (3- to 8-fold increase in adhesion) and proliferation (2- to 10-fold increase in proliferation rate) was observed. Since surfaces modified with 30% vinyl phosphonic acid in the feed exhibited a maximal cell adhesion and proliferation (9.4 x 10(4) cells/cm(2)/day), it was hypothesized that this copolymer composition was optimal for protein-polymer interactions. Osteoblast-like cells formed confluent layers and were able to differentiate on all surfaces that contained vinyl phosphonic acid. Most importantly, cells interacting with these surfaces were able to significantly mineralize the surface. These results suggest that phosphonate-containing polymers can be used to integrate biomaterials with natural bone and could be used for tissue engineering applications.

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