Hydrothermal method is an easy-to-use approach for creating nanostructured surfaces on titanium (Ti). However, whether the alkali conditions of this method influence the osteogenic potential of the modified surfaces remains unknown. In this study, we fabricated nanostructured surfaces, termed the Ti-1, Ti-5, and Ti-10 groups, by using the hydrothermal method in 1 M, 5 M, and 10 M NaOH aqueous solutions, respectively. An untreated Ti surface served as a control. The osteogenic performance of modified surfaces was systemically investigated, including the proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of human osteoblast-like MG63 cells in vitro and the osteointegration of implants in a rabbit femoral condyle defect model. After hydrothermal treatment, the hydrophilicity of modified surfaces was greatly enhanced. The Ti-1 group showed a nanowire-like topography, while the Ti-5 and Ti-10 groups exhibited a nanopetal-like topography with different pore sizes. Compared with the untreated Ti surface, the modified surfaces showed good cytocompatibility and enhanced the osteogenic differentiation of MG-63 cells. Compared with the other modified surfaces, the Ti-5 group was the most favourable for the osteogenic differentiation of cells, showing higher levels of alkaline phosphatase activity, osteogenic gene expression, mineralization and osteoprotegerin secretion. Twelve weeks after implantation at the bone defects, the Ti-5 group showed superior peri-implant bone regeneration and higher peak push-out force than the other groups. Overall, this study revealed the crucial role of alkali conditions of hydrothermal method in modulating the material characteristics of modified surfaces and their osteogenic performance in vitro and in vivo, highlighting the need for optimizing the processing conditions of hydrothermal method for enhanced osteointegration.
Huang, Y., He, S., Guo, Z., Pi, J., Deng, L., Dong, L., Zhang, Y., Su, B., Da, L., Zhang, L., Xiang, Z., Ding, W., Gong, M., & Xie, H. (2019). Nanostructured titanium surfaces fabricated by hydrothermal method: Influence of alkali conditions on the osteogenic performance of implants. Materials Science and Engineering C, 94, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2018.08.069