Purpose: Presently there is interest today in designing improved titanium surfaces capable of high bioactivity in order to promote strong anchorage of the bone surrounding implants while at the same time discouraging bioadhesion. Poly(ethylene glycol)-modified (PEG) alkane phosphate and OH-terminated alkane phosphates have been demonstrated to be spontaneously adsorbed onto titanium oxide surfaces and produce surfaces with different protein resistance in relation to the PEG surface density. This study aims to evaluate caries-associated Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) adhesion and osteoblast proliferation while varying the PEG surface density of titanium surfaces. Methods: Bacterial adhesion was quantified by fluorescence microscopy and SAOS-2 human osteoblast proliferation was evaluated up to 7 days of culture in vitro. Metabolic activity of osteoblasts was measured by MTT test and the secretion of extracellular matrix proteins (osteopontin, osteocalcin and type I collagen) in culture medium was determined by immunoenzymatic assays. Results: As the PEG surface density increased, the bacterial adhesion considerably decreased when compared to uncoated titanium surfaces. The monomolecular coatings proved to be capable of supporting osteoblast proliferation with the greatest levels of metabolic activity at the highest PEG surface concentrations. Conclusions: These results are extremely promising for potential clinical application in implant uses where both reduction of bacteria adhesion and stimulation of bone formation are highly desirable.
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