The effect of irradiation modification and RGD sequence adsorption on the response of human osteoblasts to polycaprolactone

Giovanni Marletta, Gabriela Ciapetti, Cristina Satriano, Stefania Pagani, Nicola Baldini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using techniques of tissue engineering, synthetic substitutes can be applied for the repair and regeneration of damaged bone. It has been found that material surface properties are crucial for cell adhesion and spreading, i.e. cell activities that are related directly to the ability of osteoblasts to proliferate. This fact has promoted the strategy of creating an ECM-like layer onto materials, so as to influence the cell response. In this study human bone-derived osteoblasts have been used to test the effects of surface modification by low energy ion beams of a poly ε-caprolactone (PCL) substrate and subsequent RGD adsorption. Osteoblasts were seeded and grown onto untreated and irradiated poly ε-caprolactone films, with or without RGD-adsorption step, and viability, morphology, and spreading of the osteoblasts were studied at different time endpoints. Differences were observed in the organization of cytoskeleton within cells: stress fibers were more evident in irradiated samples vs. untreated and total cell adhesion was higher. Surface characterization by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy, and surface free energy measurements showed that the polar character of PCL, i.e., the acid-base term, was increased following irradiation treatment. Moreover the irradiated PCL had a nano-sized topography, which also could improve osteoblasts adhesion. We found that the treatment of the surface with ion beam is per se improving osteoblasts adhesion and spreading onto PCL. Furthermore, also if a significant RGD adsorption was obtained for irradiated PCL surfaces, it was found that in the investigated conditions it seems to have only a minor effect on the cell response. This study suggests that new strategies involving irradiation-based treatments can be adopted to promote the initial steps of bone deposition onto synthetic surfaces, exploiting the surface-induced reorganization of the ECM matrix.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4793-4804
Number of pages12
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005


  • Irradiation
  • Osteoblasts
  • Poly ε-caprolactone
  • RGD
  • Surface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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