Surface Modified β-Tricalcium phosphate enhanced stem cell osteogenic differentiation in vitro and bone regeneration in vivo

Cheuk Sing Choy, Wei Fang Lee, Pei Ying Lin, Yi Fan Wu, Haw Ming Huang, Nai Chia Teng, Yu Hwa Pan, Eisner Salamanca, Wei Jen Chang

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11 Citations (Scopus)


A major number of studies have demonstrated Beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) biocompatibility, bioactivity, and osteoconductivity characteristics in bone regeneration. The aim of this research was to enhance β-TCP's biocompatibility, and evaluate its physicochemical properties by argon glow discharge plasma (GDP) plasma surface treatment without modifying its surface. Treated β-TCP was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive spectrometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray diffraction analysis, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy characterization. To evaluate treated β-TCP biocompatibility and osteoblastic differentiation, water-soluble tetrazolium salts-1 (WST-1), immunofluorescence, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) assay, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (QPCR) were done using human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). The results indicated a slight enhancement of the β-TCP by GDP sputtering, which resulted in a higher Ca/P ratio (2.05) than the control. Furthermore, when compared with control β-TCP, we observed an improvement of WST-1 on all days (p < 0.05) as well as of ALP activity (day 7, p < 0.05), with up-regulation of ALP, osteocalcin, and Osteoprotegerin osteogenic genes in cells cultured with the treated β-TCP. XPS and SEM results indicated that treated β-TCP’s surface was not modified. In vivo, micro-computed tomography and histomorphometric analysis indicated that the β-TCP test managed to regenerate more new bone than the untreated β-TCP and control defects at 8 weeks (p < 0.05). Argon GDP treatment is a viable method for removing macro and micro particles of < 7 μm in size from β-TCP bigger particles surfaces and therefore improving its biocompatibility with slight surface roughness modification, enhancing hMSCs proliferation, osteoblastic differentiation, and stimulating more new bone formation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9234
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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