Biological Responses to Orthopedic Implant Sensors

Importantly, results have shown similar numbers of osteoblasts adherent after 4 h on unanodized Ti, anodized nanotubular Ti without MWCNTs, and anodized nano-tubular Ti with MWCNTs (Fig. 2); all were greater than the carbon nanopaper (used as a chemical control). This initial data was important as it indicated that the MWCNT sensor was not detrimental to osteoblast functions. Moreover, osteoblasts were observed with cytoplasmic prolongation on the surfaces of MWCNTs grown out of anodized nanotubular Ti (Fig. 3c, d), resulting in stronger adhesion (more density of the points of contact) and some might say resembling osteoblast interactions with extracellular matrix proteins (Sirivisoot et al. 2007). In contrast, osteoblasts on anodized Ti without MWCNTs were not observed to have cytoplasmic prolongation (Fig. 3a, b). Zanello et al. also observed a thin neurite-like cytoplasmic prolongation of osteoblasts that reached the nanotube bundles after cell culture for 5 days. More impressively, results have demonstrated that alkaline phosphatase activity and calcium deposition by osteoblasts increased on the MWCNTs grown from anodized nanotubular Ti sensors compared to anodized nanotubular Ti without MWCNTs, unanodized Ti, and carbon nanopaper after 21 days (Fig. 4). This result suggested even better osteoblast responses on MWCNT sensors than currently used Ti.

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Fig. 2 Osteoblast adhesion for 4 h on Ti, Anodized Ti, MWCNTs grown on Anodized Ti, and carbon nanopaper. Values are mean ±S.E.M; n = 3; **p < 0.05 compared to carbon nanopaper; #p < 0.05 compared to MWCNTs grown on Anodized Ti

Fig. 3 Osteoblast morphology after 4 h of adhesion on: (a, b) Anodized Ti (scale bars = 10 mm). Round-shaped osteoblasts are on the anodized Ti substrate without MWCNTs; and (c, d) MWCNTs grown on anodized Ti (scale bars = 20 mm left and 2 mm right). One-arrow shows the cytoplasmic prolongations of osteoblasts towards MWCNTs. Double-arrows show MWCNTs, while triple-arrows show the osteoblast membrane

Fig. 3 Osteoblast morphology after 4 h of adhesion on: (a, b) Anodized Ti (scale bars = 10 mm). Round-shaped osteoblasts are on the anodized Ti substrate without MWCNTs; and (c, d) MWCNTs grown on anodized Ti (scale bars = 20 mm left and 2 mm right). One-arrow shows the cytoplasmic prolongations of osteoblasts towards MWCNTs. Double-arrows show MWCNTs, while triple-arrows show the osteoblast membrane

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