Constructing hierarchical hybrid structures is considered a facile method to improve the osseointegration of implants. Herein, a hierarchical micro-/submicro-/nanostructured surface feature of Ti6Al4V implants (3DAT group) was successfully constructed by combining the inherently formed three-dimensional (3D)-printed microscale topography, acid-etched sub-micropits, and anodized nanotubes. Compared with the classical SLA surface, the microscale topography and sub-micropits increased the three-dimensional space for the cell growth and mechanical stability of implants, while the modification of nanotubes dramatically improved the surface hydrophilicity, protein adsorption, and biomineralization. Most importantly, the 3DAT surface feature possessed excellent osteogenic performance in vitro and in vivo, with the involvement of semaphorin 7A (Sema7A) as revealed by RNA-seq through the ITGB1/FAK/ERK signaling pathway. The present study suggested that the hierarchically structured surface design strategy could accelerate the osseointegration rate of 3D-printed Ti6Al4V implants, promising personalized reconstruction of bone defects.
Keywords: 3D printing; hierarchical structure modification; osteogenesis; semaphorin 7A; titanium implant.