Bioinspired titanium coatings: self-assembly of collagen–alginate films for enhanced osseointegration†
Achieving long term osseointegration is fundamental to the development of successful bone implants. A key aspect for improving long term osseointegration on titania surfaces is to gain control of nano- and microscale features. The so called biological approach is applied here to modify the surface of titania by coating it with a self-assembled and chemically crosslinked biopolymer film made of alginate and collagen. The biofilm coated titania closely mimics the bone extracellular matrix in bio-morphology and mechanical properties. Biofilms are prepared using the layer by layer technique combined with carbodiimide chemistry to achieve a stable and compact structure. Alginate–collagen coatings display fibrillar morphology with an apparent fiber diameter of ∼50 nm and lengths ranging from a few hundred nanometers to ∼3 μm, mimicking therefore the extracellular matrix of the bone in fiber length and extent. Osteoblast MC3T3-E1 cells showed enhanced adhesion on the coated surface compared to the bare titania and a superior biological activity of the alginate-terminated coating that interfaces the cells in biological fluids.