Mining for osteogenic surface topographies: In silico design to in vivo osseo-integration

Biomaterials. 2017 Aug;137:49-60. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2017.05.020. Epub 2017 May 12.


Stem cells respond to the physicochemical parameters of the substrate on which they grow. Quantitative material activity relationships - the relationships between substrate parameters and the phenotypes they induce - have so far poorly predicted the success of bioactive implant surfaces. In this report, we screened a library of randomly selected designed surface topographies for those inducing osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. Cell shape features, surface design parameters, and osteogenic marker expression were strongly correlated in vitro. Furthermore, the surfaces with the highest osteogenic potential in vitro also demonstrated their osteogenic effect in vivo: these indeed strongly enhanced bone bonding in a rabbit femur model. Our work shows that by giving stem cells specific physicochemical parameters through designed surface topographies, differentiation of these cells can be dictated.

Keywords: Bone implants; Computational modeling; Differentiation; High-throughput screening; Micro-fabrication; Surface topography.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Regeneration / physiology*
  • Bone Substitutes*
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mechanical Phenomena
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology
  • Nanostructures
  • Osteogenesis / physiology*
  • Rabbits
  • Surface Properties
  • Tissue Engineering / methods
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*
  • Titanium / chemistry


  • Bone Substitutes
  • Titanium