Improved implant osseointegration of a nanostructured titanium surface via mediation of macrophage polarization

Biomaterials. 2014 Dec;35(37):9853-9867. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.08.025. Epub 2014 Sep 15.


The use of endosseous implanted materials is often limited by undesirable effects that may be due to macrophage-related inflammation. The purpose of this study was to fabricate a nanostructured surface on a titanium implant to regulate the macrophage inflammatory response and improve the performance of the implant. Anodization at 5 and 20 V as well as UV irradiation were used to generate hydrophilic, nanostructured TiO2 surfaces (denoted as NT5 and NT20, respectively). Their surface characteristics and in vivo osseointegration as well as the inflammatory response they elicit were analyzed. In addition, the behavior of macrophages in vitro was evaluated. Although the in vitro osteogenic activity on the two surfaces was similar, the NT5 surface was associated with more bone formation, less inflammation, and a reduced CD68(+) macrophage distribution in vivo compared to the NT20 and polished Ti surfaces. Consistently, further experiments revealed that the NT5 surface induced healing-associated M2 polarization in vitro and in vivo. By contrast, the NT20 surface promoted the pro-inflammatory M1 polarization, which could further impair bone regeneration. The results demonstrate the dominant role of macrophage-related inflammation in bone healing around implants and that surface nanotopography can be designed to have an immune-regulating effect in support of the success of implants.

Keywords: Implant; Inflammation; Macrophage polarization; Surface nanotopography.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Substitutes / chemistry*
  • Bone Substitutes / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible / chemistry
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible / metabolism
  • Femur / injuries
  • Femur / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Male
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Osseointegration*
  • Prostheses and Implants / adverse effects*
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Surface Properties
  • Titanium / chemistry*
  • Titanium / immunology


  • Bone Substitutes
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible
  • Titanium