Nanolamellar Tantalum Interfaces in the Osteoblast Adhesion

Rong An, Pengpeng Fan, Mingjun Zhou, Yue Wang, Sunkulp Goel, Xuefeng Zhou, Wei Li, Jingtao Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The design of topographically patterned surfaces is considered to be a preferable approach for influencing cellular behavior in a controllable manner, in particular to improve the osteogenic ability of bone regeneration. In this study, we fabricated nanolamellar tantalum (Ta) surfaces with lamellar wall thicknesses of 40 and 70 nm. The cells attached to nanolamellar Ta surfaces exhibited higher protein adsorption and expression of β1 integrin, as compared to the nonstructured bulk Ta, which facilitated the initial cell attachment and spreading. We thus, as expected, observed significantly enhanced osteoblast adhesion, growth, and alkaline phosphatase activity on nanolamellar Ta surfaces. However, the beneficial effects of nanolamellar structures on osteogenesis became weaker as the lamellar wall thickness increased. The interaction between cells and Ta surfaces was examined through adhesion forces using atomic force microscopy. Our findings indicated that the Ta surface with a lamellar wall thickness of 40 nm exhibited the strongest stimulatory effect. The observed strongest adhesion force between the cell-attached tip and the Ta surface with a 40 nm thick lamellar wall encouraged the much stronger binding of cells with the surface and thus well-attached, -stretched, and -grown cells. We attributed this to the increase in the available contact area of cells with the thinner nanolamellar Ta surface. The increased contact area allowed the enhancement of the cell surface interaction strength and, thus, improved osteoblast adhesion. This study suggests that the thin nanolamellar topography shows immense potential in improving the clinical performance of dental and orthopedic implants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2480-2489
Number of pages10
Issue number7
Early online date23 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Langmuir, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see


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