S. PapaefstathiouN. LarochetteR. María Villar Liste, E. PotierH. PetiteB.J. VivaceJ.L. Laratta

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2022 Jul 15;47(14):1027-1035.

DOI: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000004317

A proprietary implant using three-dimensional porous titanium (3D-pTi) that mimics trabecu-lar bone structure, roughness, porosity, and modulus of elasticity was created (Ti-LIFE technology™, Spineart SA Switzerland). Such implants may possess osteoinductive properties augmenting fusion in addition to their structural advantages. However, the ability of 3D-pTi to affect in vitro cellular proliferation and osteogenic differentiation remains undefined.

The aim of this study was to assess the effect of three-dimensional (3D) printing of porous titanium on human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) adhesion, proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation.

Disks of 3D-pTi with a porosity of 70% to 75% and pore size of 0.9 mm were produced using additive manufacturing technology. 2D Ti6Al4V (2D-Ti) and 2D polyetheretherketone (2D-PEEK) disks were prepared using standard manufacturing process. Tissue culture plastic (TCP) served as the control surface. All discs were characterized using 2D-micros-copy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and x-ray micro-computed tomography. Forty thousand hMSCs were seeded on the disks and TCP and cultured for 42 days. hMSC morphology was assessed using environmental SEM and confocal imaging following phalloidin staining. hMSC proliferation was evaluated using DNA fluorescent assay. hMSC differentiation was assessed using RT-qPCR for genes involved in hMSC osteogenic differentiation and biochemical assays were performed for alkaline phosphatase activity (ALP) and calcium content.

3D-pTi lead to a higher cell number as compared to 2D-Ti and 2D-PEEK at D21, D28 and D42. ALP activity of hMSCs seeded into 3D-pTi scaffolds was as high as or higher than that of hMSCs seeded onto TCP controls over all time points and consistently higher than that of hMSCs seeded onto 2D-Ti scaffolds. However, when ALP activity was normalized to protein content, no statistical differences were found between all scaffolds tested and TCP controls.

3D-pTi provides a scaffold for bone formation that structurally mimics cancellous bone and improves hMSC adhesion and proliferation compared to 2D-Ti and PEEK.