Tuning surface properties of bone biomaterials to manipulate osteoblastic cell adhesion and the signaling pathways for the enhancement of early osseointegration

Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2018 Apr 1;164:58-69. doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2018.01.022. Epub 2018 Feb 3.


Osteoblast cell adhesion is the initial step of early osseointegration responding to bone material implants. Enhancing the osteoblastic cell adhesion has become one of the prime aims when optimizing the surface properties of bone biomaterials. The traditional strategy focuses in improving the physical attachment of osteoblastic cells onto the surfaces of biomaterials. However, instead of a simple cell physical attachment, the osteoblastic cell adhesion has been revealed to be a sophisticated system. Despite the well-documented effect of bone biomaterial surface modifications on adhesion, few studies have focused on the underlying molecular mechanisms. Physicochemical signals from biomaterials can be transduced into intracellular signaling network and further initiate the early response cascade towards the implants, which includes cell survival, migration, proliferation, and differentiation. Adhesion is vital in determining the early osseointegration between host bone tissue and implanted bone biomaterials via regulating involving signaling pathways. Therefore, the modulation of early adhesion behavior should not simply target in physical attachment, but emphasize in the manipulation of downstream signaling pathways, to regulate early osseointegration. This review firstly summarized the basic biological principles of osteoblastic cell adhesion process and the activated downstream cell signaling pathways. The effects of different biomaterial physicochemical properties on osteoblastic cell adhesion were then reviewed. This review provided up-to-date research outcomes in the adhesion behavior of osteoblastic cells on bone biomaterials with different physicochemical properties. The strategy is optimised from traditionally focusing in physical cell adhesion to the proposed strategy that manipulating cell adhesion and the downstream signaling network for the enhancement of early osseointegration.

Keywords: Bone biomaterials; Cell adhesion; Early osseointegration; Osteoblastic cells; Signaling pathways.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacology*
  • Bone and Bones / cytology*
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Osseointegration / drug effects*
  • Osteoblasts / cytology*
  • Osteoblasts / drug effects
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Surface Properties


  • Biocompatible Materials