Preparation and biological evaluations of a collagen-like hierarchical Ti surface with superior osteogenic capabilities†
The construction of multiscale Ti surfaces of high osteogenic ability has always attracted significant attention in the fields of oral implantology and implantable biomaterials. However, to date, the absence of a solid understanding of the correlation between the multiscale surface structure and the biological properties is the main obstacle in the development of these multiscale implants. In this study, a series of novel multiscale Ti surfaces were prepared via a three-step subtractive method. Moreover, based on the grayscale analysis of SEM images, we developed multiscale surface topography analysis methods. The typical topography characteristics at each scale of a multiscale complex surface can be analyzed according to the corresponding magnified SEM images. Thus, the evolution rule of the surface topography from a simple surface to multiscale complex surfaces can be mathematically described. Based on this, the correlation between multiscale surface structures and the corresponding biological properties was established. For the multiscale surface of superior osteogenic capacity, strict inherent regularity was found among the structures at multiple scales (i.e., multiscale order), that is, there was a balance between the construction of the 3D collagen-like network nanostructure and the preservation of the typical topographical features of the pre-existing macro- and micro-structures of the classic micro-roughened surface. Moreover, it was further found that the multiscale-ordered hierarchical Ti surface structure could modulate ROS production and enhance macrophage M2 polarization to create an osteogenesis-favorable immuno-inflammatory microenvironment and synergistically exhibit superior biological capability. Consequently, an optimized collagen-like hierarchical surface with superior osteogenic abilities was achieved.