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The development of fibronectin-functionalised hydroxyapatite coatings to improve dermal fibroblast attachment in vitro.


The success of long-term transcutaneous implants depends on dermal attachment to prevent downgrowth of the epithelium and infection. Hydroxyapatite (HA) coatings and fibronectin (Fn) have independently been shown to regulate fibroblast activity and improve attachment. In an attempt to enhance this phenomenon we adsorbed Fn onto HA-coated substrates. Our study was designed to test the hypothesis that adsorption of Fn onto HA produces a surface that will increase the attachment of dermal fibroblasts better than HA alone or titanium alloy controls. Iodinated Fn was used to investigate the durability of the protein coating and a bioassay using human dermal fibroblasts was performed to assess the effects of the coating on cell attachment. Cell attachment data were compared with those for HA alone and titanium alloy controls at one, four and 24 hours. Protein attachment peaked within one hour of incubation and the maximum binding efficiency was achieved with an initial droplet of 1000 ng. We showed that after 24 hours one-fifth of the initial Fn coating remained on the substrates, and this resulted in a significant, three-, four-, and sevenfold increase in dermal fibroblast attachment strength compared to uncoated controls at one, four and 24 hours, respectively.


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  • Authors+Show Affiliations


    The Centre for Biomedical Engineering, University College London, The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Brockley Hill, Stanmore, Middlesex HA7 4LP, UK.




    Artificial Limbs
    Biological Assay
    Cell Adhesion
    Cell Size
    Cells, Cultured
    Coated Materials, Biocompatible
    Materials Testing
    Microscopy, Fluorescence
    Surface Properties

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article



    PubMed ID