Surface energy of hydroxyapatite and β-tricalcium phosphate ceramics driving serum protein adsorption and osteoblast adhesion

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The main objective of this work was to evaluate the specific role of calcium phosphates surface energy on serum protein adsorption and human osteoblast adhesion, by isolating chemical effects from those caused by topography. Highly dense phosphate ceramics (single-phase hydroxyapatite HA and β-tricalcium phosphates β-TCP) presenting two distinct nano roughnesses were produced. Some samples were gold-sputter coated in order to conveniently mask the surface chemical effects (without modification of the original roughness) and to study the isolated effect of surface topography on cellular behavior. The results indicated that the nano topography of calcium phosphates strongly affected the protein adsorption process, being more important than surface chemistry. The seeding efficacy of osteoblasts was not affected nor by the topography neither by the calcium phosphate chemistries but the β-TCP chemistry negatively influenced cell spreading. We observed that surface hydrophobicity is another way to change protein adsorption on surfaces. The decrease of the polar component of surface energy on gold-coated samples leaded to a decreased albumin and fibronectin adsorption but to an increased cell adhesion. Overall, this work contributes to better understand the role of topography and surface chemistry of calcium phosphates in serum protein adsorption and osteoblast adhesion.

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