Re-establishment of macrophage homeostasis by titanium surface modification in type II diabetes promotes osseous healing

Biomaterials. 2021 Jan;267:120464. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2020.120464. Epub 2020 Oct 23.


Titanium surface mediated immunomodulation may address compromised post-implantation bone healing in diabetes mellitus. To assess in vitro phenotypic changes, M1 and M2 polarised Type 2 diabetic rat (Goto Kakizaki, GK) macrophages were cultured on micro-rough (SLA) or hydrophilic nanostructured SLA (modSLA) titanium. The in vivo effects of the SLA and modSLA surfaces on macrophage phenotype, wound-associated protein expression and bone formation were investigated using a critical-sized calvarial defect model. Compared to healthy macrophages, GK M2 macrophage function was compromised, secreting significantly lower levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. The modSLA surface attenuated the pro-inflammatory cellular environment, reducing pro-inflammatory cytokine production and promoting M2 macrophage phenotype differentiation. ModSLA also suppressed gene expression associated with macrophage multinucleation and giant cell formation and stimulated pro-osteogenic genes in co-cultured osteoblasts. In vivo, modSLA enhanced osteogenesis compared to SLA in GK rats. During early healing, proteomic analysis of both surface adherent and wound exudate material showed that modSLA promoted an immunomodulatory pro-reparative environment. The modSLA surface therefore successfully compensated for the compromised M2 macrophage function in Type 2 diabetes by attenuating the pro-inflammatory response and promoting M2 macrophage activity, thus restoring macrophage homeostasis and resulting in a cellular environment favourable for enhanced osseous healing.

Keywords: Diabetes; Immunomodulation; Macrophage phenotypes; Osseous healing; SLA/modSLA; Titanium surface modification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2*
  • Homeostasis
  • Macrophages
  • Proteomics
  • Rats
  • Surface Properties
  • Titanium*


  • Titanium