Sladkova-Faure M, Pujari-Palmer M, Öhman-Mägi C, López A, Wang H, Engqvist H, de Peppo GM
Sci Rep 10 (1) 22154 [2020-12-17; online 2020-12-17]
Existing methods for testing prosthetic implants suffer from critical limitations, creating an urgent need for new strategies that facilitate research and development of implants with enhanced osseointegration potential. Herein, we describe a novel, biomimetic, human bone platform for advanced testing of implants in vitro, and demonstrate the scientific validity and predictive value of this approach using an assortment of complementary evaluation methods. We anchored titanium (Ti) and stainless steel (SS) implants into biomimetic scaffolds, seeded with human induced mesenchymal stem cells, to recapitulate the osseointegration process in vitro. We show distinct patterns of gene expression, matrix deposition, and mineralization in response to the two materials, with Ti implants ultimately resulting in stronger integration strength, as seen in other preclinical and clinical studies. Interestingly, RNAseq analysis reveals that the TGF-beta and the FGF2 pathways are overexpressed in response to Ti implants, while the Wnt, BMP, and IGF pathways are overexpressed in response to SS implants. High-resolution imaging shows significantly increased tissue mineralization and calcium deposition at the tissue-implant interface in response to Ti implants, contributing to a twofold increase in pullout strength compared to SS implants. Our technology creates unprecedented research opportunities towards the design of implants and biomaterials that can be personalized, and exhibit enhanced osseointegration potential, with reduced need for animal testing.