Polydopamine coating promotes early osteogenesis in 3D printing porous Ti6Al4V scaffolds

Lan Li, Yixuan Li, Longfei Yang, Fei Yu, Kaijia Zhang, Jing Jin, Jianping Shi, Liya Zhu, Huixin Liang, Xingsong Wang, Qing Jiang


Background: Titanium implants are widely used in orthopedic and dental for more than 30 years. Its stable physicochemical properties and mechanical strength are indeed appropriate for implantation. However, the Bioinertia oxidized layer and higher elastic modulus often lead to the early implantation failure.
Methods: In this study, we proposed a simple design of porous structure to minimize the disparity between scaffold and natural bone tissue, and introduced a one-step reaction to form a polydopamine (PDA) layer on the surface of titanium for the purpose of improving osteogenesis as well. The porous scaffolds with pore size of 400 µm and porosity of 44.66% were made by additive manufacturing. The cell behavior was tested by seeding MC3T3-E1 cells on Ti6Al4V films for 15 days. The biomechanical properties were then analyzed by finite element (FE) method and the in vivo osteogenesis effect was accordingly evaluated by implanting the scaffolds for 5 weeks in rabbits.
Results: According to the achieved results, it was revealed that the immersion for 40 min with dopamine could significantly improve the cell adhesion. The proposed method for design of porous structure can avoid the stress shielding effect and bone growth inside the PDA coating scaffolds, which were observed at the early stage of bone healing process.
Conclusions: It can be concluded that the proposed PDA coating method is effective in promoting early osteogenesis, as well as being easy to operate, and can be helpful in the future clinical application of titanium implants.