A. Terriza, A. Díaz-Cuenca, F. Yubero, A. Barranco, A.R. González-Elipe, J.L. Gonzalez Caballero, J. Vilches, M. Salido
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research A, 101A (2013) 1026-1035
doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.34405

We have studied the effect of the UV induced superhydrophilic wetting of TiO2 thin films on the osteoblasts cell adhesion and cytoskeletal organization on its surface. To assess any effect of the photo-catalytic removal of adventitious carbon as a factor for the enhancement of the osteoblast development, 100 nm amorphous TiO2 thin layers were deposited on polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a substrate well known for its poor adhesion and limited wettability and biocompatibility. The TiO2/PET materials were characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy and their wetting behavior under light illumination studied by the sessile drop method. The amorphous TiO2 thin films showed a very poor photo-catalytic activity even if becoming superhydrophilic after illumination. The illuminated samples recovered partially its initial hydrophobic state only after their storage in the dark for more than 20 days. Osteoblasts (HOB) were seeded both on bare PET and on TiO2/PET samples immediately after illumination and also after four weeks storage in darkness. Cell attachment was much more efficient on the immediately illuminated TiO2/PET samples, with development of focal adhesions and cell traction forces. Although we cannot completely discard some photo-catalytic carbon removal as a factor contributing to this cell enhanced attachment, our photodegradation experiments on amorphous TiO2 are conclusive to dismiss this effect as the major cause for this behavior.

Light induced hydrophilicity and osteoblast adhesion promotion on amorphous TiO2