In bone tissue engineering, bioglass coating of titanium (Ti) scaffolds has drawn attention as a method to improve osteointegration and implant fixation. In this in vitro study, bioactive glass layers with an approximate thickness of 1 mm were deposited at 2008C onto a three-dimensional Ti-6Al-4V scaffold using a radio frequency (r.f.) magnetron sputtering system. After incubation with SAOS-2 human osteoblasts, in comparison with the uncoated scaffolds, the bioglass-coated scaffolds showed a twofold increase in cell proliferation ( p<0.05) up to 68.4106, and enhanced the deposition of extracellular matrix components such as decorin, fibronectin, osteocalcin, osteonectin, osteopontin, and type-I and -III collagens ( p<0.05). Calcium deposition was twofold greater on the bioglass-coated scaffolds ( p<0.05). The immunofluorescence related to the preceding bone matrix proteins and calcium showed their colocalization to the cell-rich areas. Alkaline phosphatase activity increased twofold ( p<0.001) and its protein content was threefold higher with respect to the uncoated sample. Quantitative reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed upregulated transcription specific for type-I collagen and osteopontin ( p<0.001). All together, these results demonstrate that the bioglass coating of the three-dimensional Ti scaffolds by the r.f. magnetron sputtering technique determines an in vitro increase of the bone matrix elaboration and may potentially have a clinical benefit.
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