Collagen- and Fibronectin-Mimetic Integrin-Specific Surfaces That Promote Osseointegration
Reyes, Catherine Diane
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Cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix through cell-surface integrin receptors is essential to development, wound healing, and tissue remodeling and therefore represents a central theme in the design of bioactive surfaces that successfully interface with the body. This is especially significant in the areas of integrative implant coatings since adhesion triggers signals that regulate cell cycle progression and differentiation in multiple cellular systems. The interactions of osteoblasts with their surrounding extracellular matrix are essential for skeletal development and homeostasis and the maintenance of the mature osteoblastic phenotype. Our objective was to engineer integrin-specific bioactive surfaces that support osteoblastic differentiation and promote osseointegration by mimicking these interactions. We target two specific integrins essential to osteoblast differentiation the type I collagen receptor alpha2beta1 and the fibronectin receptor alpha5beta1. The central hypothesis of this project was that the controlled presentation of type I collagen and fibronectin binding domains onto well-defined substrates would result in integrin-specific bioadhesive surfaces that support osteoblastic differentiation, matrix mineralization, and osseointegration. We have demonstrated that these biomimetic peptides enhance bone formation and mechanical osseointegration on titanium implants in a rat tibia cortical bone model. We have also shown that the presentation of multiple integrin-binding ligands synergize to enhance intracellular signaling and proliferation. Finally, we demonstrate the advantage of the short biomimetic peptides over the native ECM proteins. This research is significant because it addresses current orthopaedic implant limitations by specifically targeting cellular responses that are critical to osteoblastic differentiation and bone formation. This biomolecular approach provides a versatile and robust strategy for developing bioactive surfaces that enhance bone repair and osseointegration of orthopaedic implants.