University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Biomedical Engineering-FB40, W.J. Kolff Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science-FB41, A. Deusinglaan 1, 9713 AV Groningen, the Netherlands. Electronic address: [Email]
Calcium phosphate (CaP) coatings were electrochemically deposited on titanium substrates. By increasing the electrodeposition time (from 1 to 30 min), the coating thickness increases but also the surface morphology of the CaP coatings is greatly affected going from smooth to plate-like, featuring elongated plates, ribbon-like and finally sharp needle structures. Micro-stretch tests reveal that, regardless of the coating morphology and thickness, the electrodeposited CaP coatings have strong adhesion with the titanium substrates and their failure mode is cohesive failure. The effects of different morphologies on cellular behavior such as adhesion, viability, proliferation, and osteogenic gene expression were studied. The surface morphology of CaP coatings has a remarkable effect on cell attachment, proliferation, and viability. A smooth surface results in better adhesion of the cells, whereas the presence of sharp needles and ribbons on rough surfaces restricts cell adhesion and consequently cell proliferation and viability. The improved cell adhesion and viability on the smoother surface can be attributed to the higher contact area between the cell and the coating, while the needle-like morphology inflicts damage to the cells by physically disrupting the cell wall. There is no significant difference in the level of osteoblast gene expression when osteosarcoma cells are cultured on coatings with different morphologies. Our study provides crucial insights into the optimum electrodeposition procedures for CaP coating formation leading to both good cell-material interaction and sufficient mechanical properties. This can be achieved with relatively thin coatings produced by short electrodeposition times.