Varying Ti-6A1-4V surface roughness induces different early morphologic and molecular responses in MG63 osteoblast-like cells

H. J. Kim, S. H. Kim, M. S. Kim, E. J. Lee, H. G. Oh, W. M. Oh, S. W. Park, W. J. Kim, G. J. Lee, N. G. Choi, J. T. Koh, D. B. Dinh, R. R. Hardin, K. Johnson, V. L. Sylvia, J. P. Schmitz, D. D. Dean

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86 Scopus citations


Osteoblast response to Ti implants depends not only on the chemistry of the implant but also on the physical properties of the implant surface, such as microtopography and roughness. This study was undertaken to examine early changes in cell morphology and gene expression during the early phase of osteoblast interaction with titanium alloy (Ti-6Al-4V) surfaces of two different roughnesses. MG63 osteoblast-like cells were cultured for 2, 6, 24, and 72 h on smooth (Ra = 0.18 ± 0.03 μm) and rough (Ra = 2.95 ± 0.23 μm) Ti-6Al-4V surfaces. Changes in cell proliferation were assessed by measuring cell number after 72 h in culture. Morphological characteristics were observed by scanning electron microscopy after 2, 6, and 24 h of culture. Changes in gene expression for extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 (Erk2), type I collagen (α2[I] collagen), phospholipase C-γ2 (Plc-γ2), and β-actin were measured by RT-PCR after 6 and 24 h in culture. Cell number was significantly higher on the smooth surface. In scanning electron micrographs, cells on smooth Ti-6Al-4V were spherical and raised up from the surface after 2 h in culture. In contrast, cells on the rough surface adopted an irregular, elongated shape that spanned across pits in the surface. At 24 h, cells on the smooth surface had flattened, become elongate, and covered the surface. In contrast, cells on the rough surface appeared more differentiated in shape and the margins of the cells were irregular, with many processes extending out, following the contour of the surface. Of the genes examined, only Erk2 and β-actin showed a change in expression with surface roughness. Both genes were upregulated (p < 0.05) on the rough surface at 6 h. These results indicate that Ti-6Al-4V surface roughness affects osteoblast proliferation, morphology, and gene expression, and that these effects can be measured after periods as short as 2-6 h.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-373
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005


  • Gene expression
  • Implant
  • MG63 cells
  • Surface roughness
  • Ti-6Al-4V

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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