The researchers then tested the effects of the chemically-produced nanoporous titanium surfaces on cell growth and development. They showed that the treated surfaces increased growth of bone cells, decreased growth of unwanted cells and stimulated stem cells, relative to untreated smooth ones. In addition, expression of genes required for cell adhesion and growth were increased in contact with the nanoporous surfaces.
Different etchants have different effects
Uncontrolled growth of cells on an implant is not ideal. For example, when using cardiovascular stents, it is important to limit the growth of certain cells in order not interfere with blood flow. Also, in some cases, cells can form an undesirable capsule around dental implants causing them to fall. The scientists demonstrated that treatment with specific etchants reduced the growth of unwanted cells.
"An important element of this study is how we demonstrated the selective cellular effects of etching," says Dr. Nanci. "With subtle changes in chemical composition of etching mixtures, we can alter the nanopatterns that are created on the metal surface and control consequent cellular responses."
"Our study is groundbreaking," adds Dr. Nanci. "We use simple yet very efficient chemical treatments to alter metals commonly used in the operating room. This innovative approach may ultimately hold the key to developing intelligent materials that are not only easily accepted by the human body but that can actively respond to the surrounding biological environment."
|Contact: Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins|
University of Montreal