Osteoselection supported by phase separated polymer blend films
The instability of implants after placement inside the body is one of the main obstacles to clinically succeed in periodontal and orthopedic applications. Adherence of fibroblasts instead of osteoblasts to implant surfaces usually results in formation of scar tissue and loss of the implant. Thus, selective bioadhesivity of osteoblasts is a desired characteristic for implant materials. In this study, we developed osteoselective and biofriendly polymeric thin films fabricated with a simple phase separation method using either homopolymers or various blends of homopolymers and copolymers. As adhesive and proliferative features of cells are highly dependent on the physicochemical properties of the surfaces, substrates with distinct chemical heterogeneity, wettability, and surface topography were developed and assessed for their osteoselective characteristics. Surface characterizations of the fabricated polymer thin films were performed with optical microscopy and SEM, their wettabilities were determined by contact angle measurements, and their surface roughness was measured by profilometry. Long-term adhesion behaviors of cells to polymer thin films were determined by F-actin staining of Saos-2 osteoblasts, and human gingival fibroblasts, HGFs, and their morphologies were observed by SEM imaging. The biocompatibility of the surfaces was also examined through cell viability assay. Our results showed that heterogeneous polypropylene polyethylene/polystyrene surfaces can govern Saos-2 and HGF attachment and organization. Selective adhesion of Saos-2 osteoblasts and inhibited adhesion of HGF cells were achieved on micro-structured and hydrophobic surfaces. This work paves the way for better control of cellular behaviors for adjustment of cell material interactions.