Surface micropatterning with zirconia and calcium phosphate ceramics by micromoulding in capillaries
An increasing demand exists for biomaterials that are able to actively participate in the process of repair and regeneration of damaged or diseased organs and tissues. Patterning of surfaces of biomaterials with distinct chemical or physical cues is an attractive way to obtain spatial control over their interactions with the biological system. In the current study, micromoulding in capillaries method was used to pattern silicon substrates with bioinert yttria-stabilised zirconia or with bioactive calcium phosphate ceramics, both widely used biomaterials in orthopaedics and dentistry. Micrometer-scale patterns consisted of parallel lines with varying width and spacing. Both ceramics were successfully deposited on the substrate in a pattern defined by the mould. While the yttria-stabilised zirconia pattern was highly homogenous and smooth (Rq = 5.5 nm), the calcium phosphate pattern, consisting of dicalcium phosphate anhydrous before, and of β-tricalcium phosphate after annealing, exhibited a less homogenous morphology and higher roughness (Rq = 893 nm). Both materials allowed attachment and proliferation of the MG-63 osteosarcoma cell line, independent of the pattern used. While a preferential orientation of cells in the direction of the pattern lines was observed for all patterns, this effect was more pronounced on the lines with a width of up to 20 μm on both yttria-stabilised zirconia and calcium phosphate ceramics, as compared to wider patterns. Furthermore, the cells retained an elongated morphology for a longer period of time on narrow patterns. Micromoulding in capillaries appeared to be a suitable method to pattern both types of ceramics, however further optimisation is needed to improve homogeneity and obtain better control over the chemical phase and crystalline structure of calcium phosphate patterns.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2015 Journal of Materials Chemistry B Hot Papers