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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2015 Mar;103(3):1038-44. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.35250. Epub 2014 Jun 16.

Mechanoresponses of human primary osteoblasts grown on carbon nanotubes.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering & Aeronautics, Laboratory of Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, University of Patras, Patras, Greece.


Bone mechanotransduction is strongly influenced by the biomaterial properties. A good understanding of these mechanosensory mechanisms in bone has the potential to provide new strategies in the highly evolving field of bone tissue engineering. The aim of the present investigation was to study the interactive effects of local mechanical stimuli on multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)/osteoblast interface, using an in vitro model that allows the study of cell growth, attachment and differentiation. Strain was applied at physiological levels [strain magnitudes 500 microstrain (μɛ), at frequency of load application 0.5 Hz]. The effect of mechanical strain and substrate was thus studied by measuring the messenger RNA expression of alkaline phosphatase, vinculin, collagen 1A, and integrins β1, β3, α4, and αv, using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The osteoblasts grown on MWCNTs displayed quick adaptation to the new environment by modulating the expression of key adhesion integrins. Furthermore, the addition of mechanical strain interplayed with the extracellular matrix and was efficiently transduced by cells grown on MWCNTs, providing stronger adhesion and survival. MWCNTs are therefore a material perfectly compatible with osteoblast differentiation, adhesion, and growth, and should be further evaluated, to derive new-generation biomaterial scaffolds for the treatment of skeletal defects which require bone reconstruction.


adhesion integrins; bone; carbon nanotubes; mechanotransduction; primary osteoblasts

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