Metal implants are widely used to provide structural support and stability in current surgical treatments for bone fractures, spinal fusions, and joint arthroplasties as well as craniofacial and dental applications. Early implant-bone mechanical fixation is an important requirement for the successful performance of such implants. However, adequate osseointegration has been difficult to achieve especially in challenging disease states like osteoporosis due to reduced bone mass and strength. Here, we present a simple coating strategy based on passive adsorption of FN7-10, a recombinant fragment of human fibronectin encompassing the major cell adhesive, integrin-binding site, onto 316-grade stainless steel (SS). FN7-10 coating on SS surfaces promoted α5β1 integrin-dependent adhesion and osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells. FN7-10-coated SS screws increased bone-implant mechanical fixation compared to uncoated screws by 30% and 45% at 1 and 3 months, respectively, in healthy rats. Importantly, FN7-10 coating significantly enhanced bone-screw fixation by 57% and 32% at 1 and 3 months, respectively, and bone-implant ingrowth by 30% at 3 months compared to uncoated screws in osteoporotic rats. These coatings are easy to apply intra-operatively, even to implants with complex geometries and structures, facilitating the potential for rapid translation to clinical settings.
Keywords: Bone; Cell adhesion; Implant; Integrin.
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