Bone-like mineral nucleating peptide nanofibers induce differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells into mature osteoblasts
A bone implant should integrate to the tissue through a bone-like mineralized interface, which requires increased osteoblast activity at the implant-tissue boundary. Modification of the implant surface with synthetic bioinstructive cues facilitates on-site differentiation of progenitor stem cells to functional mature osteoblasts and results in subsequent mineralization. Inspired by the bioactive domains of the bone extracellular matrix proteins and the mussel adhesive proteins, we synthesized peptide nanofibers to promote bone-like mineralization on the implant surface. Nanofibers functionalized with osteoinductive collagen I derived Asp-Gly-Glu-Ala (DGEA) peptide sequence provide an advantage in initial adhesion, spreading, and early commitment to osteogenic differentiation for mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). In this study, we demonstrated that this early osteogenic commitment, however, does not necessarily guarantee a priority for maturation into functional osteoblasts. Similar to natural biological cascades, early commitment should be further supported with additional signals to provide a long-term effect on differentiation. Here, we showed that peptide nanofibers functionalized with Glu-Glu-Glu (EEE) sequence enhanced mineralization abilities due to osteoinductive properties for late-stage differentiation of hMSCs. Mussel-inspired functionalization not only enables robust immobilization on metal surfaces, but also improves bone-like mineralization under physiologically simulated conditions. The multifunctional osteoinductive peptide nanofiber biointerfaces presented here facilitate osseointegration for long-term clinical stability. © 2014 American Chemical Society.