Direct and indirect effects of microstructured titanium substrates on the induction of mesenchymal stem cell differentiation towards the osteoblast lineage

Rene Olivares-Navarrete, Sharon L. Hyzy, Daphne L. Hutton, Christopher P. Erdman, Marco Wieland, Barbara D. Boyan, Zvi Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

218 Scopus citations


Microstructured and high surface energy titanium substrates increase osseointegration in vivo. In vitro, osteoblast differentiation is increased, but effects of the surface directly on multipotent mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and consequences for MSCs in the peri-implant environment are not known. We evaluated responses of human MSCs to substrate surface properties and examined the underlying mechanisms involved. MSCs exhibited osteoblast characteristics (alkaline phosphatase, RUNX2, and osteocalcin) when grown on microstructured Ti; this effect was more robust with increased hydrophilicity. Factors produced by osteoblasts grown on microstructured Ti were sufficient to induce co-cultured MSC differentiation to osteoblasts. Silencing studies showed that this was due to signaling via α2β1 integrins in osteoblasts on the substrate surface and paracrine action of secreted Dkk2. Thus, human MSCs are sensitive to substrate properties that induce osteoblastic differentiation; osteoblasts interact with these surface properties via α2β1 and secrete Dkk2, which acts on distal MSCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2728-2735
Number of pages8
Issue number10
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010



  • Co-culture
  • Human mesenchymal stem cells
  • Hydrophilic surfaces
  • Microstructured surfaces
  • Osteoblasts
  • Titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials

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