Engineered protein coatings to improve the osseointegration of dental and orthopaedic implants
Journal article, 2016
Here we present the design of an engineered, elastin-like protein (ELP) that is chemically modified to enable stable coatings on the surfaces of titanium-based dental and orthopaedic implants by novel photocrosslinking and solution processing steps. The ELP includes an extended RGD sequence to confer bio-signaling and an elastin-like sequence for mechanical stability. ELP thin films were fabricated on cpTi and Ti6A14V surfaces using scalable spin and dip coating processes with photoactive covalent cross linking through a carbene insertion mechanism. The coatings withstood procedures mimicking dental screw and hip replacement stem implantations, a key metric for clinical translation. They promoted rapid adhesion of MG63 osteoblast-like cells, with over 80% adhesion after 24 h, compared to 38% adhesion on uncoated Ti6A14V. MG63 cells produced significantly more mineralization on ELP coatings compared to uncoated Ti6A14V. Human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) had an earlier increase in alkaline phosphatase activity, indicating more rapid osteogenic differentiation and mineral deposition on adhesive ELP coatings. Rat tibia and femur in vivo studies demonstrated that cell -adhesive ELP-coated implants increased bone-implant contact area and interfacial strength after one week. These results suggest that ELP coatings withstand surgical implantation and promote rapid osseointegration, enabling earlier implant loading and potentially preventing micromotion that leads to aseptic loosening and premature implant failure.