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Selective adhesion and mineral deposition by osteoblasts on carbon nanofiber patterns

Authors Dongwoo Khang, Michiko Sato, Rachel L Price, Alexander E Ribbe Thomas J Webster

Published 15 March 2006 Volume 2006:1(1) Pages 65—72

Dongwoo Khang1, Michiko Sato4, Rachel L Price2, Alexander E Ribbe3
Thomas J Webster2,4

1Department of Physics, 2Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, 3Purdue Laboratory of Chemical Nanotechnology and Departments of Chemistry, and 4School of Materials Engineering, Purdue

Abstract: In an effort to develop better orthopedic implants, osteoblast (bone-forming cells) adhesion was determined on microscale patterns (30 μm lines) of carbon nanofibers placed on polymer substrates. Patterns of carbon nanofibers (CNFs) on a model polymer (polycarbonate urethane [PCU]) were developed using an imprinting method that placed CNFs in selected regions. Results showed the selective adhesion and alignment of osteoblasts on CNF patterns placed on PCU. Results also showed greater attraction forces between fibronectin and CNF (compared with PCU) patterns using atomic force microscope force-displacement curves. Because fibronectin is a protein that mediates osteoblast adhesion, these results provide a mechanism of why osteoblast adhesion was directed towards CNF patterns. Lastly, this study showed that the directed osteoblast adhesion on CNF patterns translated to enhanced calcium phosphate mineral deposition along linear patterns of CNFs on PCU. Since CNFs are conductive materials, this study formulated substrates that through electrical stimulation could be used in future investigations to further promote osteoblasts to deposit anisotropic patterns of calcium containing mineral similar to that observed in long bones.

Keywords: carbon nanotubes, carbon nanofibers, osteoblasts, orthopedic, biomaterials, alignment

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