A combined effect of protein coating and plasma modification on the quality of the osteoblast-scaffold interaction was investigated. Three-dimensional polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds were manufactured by the precision extrusion deposition (PED) system. The structural, physical, chemical and biological cues were introduced to the surface through providing 3D structure, coating with adhesive protein fibronectin and modifying the surface with oxygen-based plasma. The changes in the surface properties of PCL after those modifications were examined by contact angle goniometry, surface energy calculation, surface chemistry analysis (XPS) and surface topography measurements (AFM). The effects of modification techniques on osteoblast short-term and long-term functions were examined by cell adhesion, proliferation assays and differentiation markers, namely alkaline phosphatase activity (ALP) and osteocalcin secretion. The results suggested that the physical and chemical cues introduced by plasma modification might be sufficient for improved cell adhesion, but for accelerated osteoblast differentiation the synergetic effects of structural, physical, chemical and biological cues should be introduced to the PCL surface.
Yildirim, E.D., R. Besunder, D. Pappas, F. Allen, S. Guceri, W. Sun