Ze Tang, Youtao Xie, Fei Yang, Yan Huang, Chuandong Wang, Kerong Dai, Xuebin Zheng, Xiaoling Zhang
Tantalum, as a potential metallic implant biomaterial, is attracting more and more attention because of its excellent anticorrosion and biocompatibility. However, its significantly high elastic modulus and large mechanical incompatibility with bone tissue make it unsuitable for load-bearing implants. In this study, porous tantalum coatings were first successfully fabricated on titanium substrates by vacuum plasma spraying (VPS), which would exert the excellent biocompatibility of tantalum and alleviate the elastic modulus of tantalum for bone tissue. We evaluated cytocompatibility and osteogenesis activity of the porous tantalum coatings using human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs) and its ability to repair rabbit femur bone defects. The morphology and actin cytoskeletons of hBMSCs were observed via electron microscopy and confocal, and the cell viability, proliferation and osteogenic differentiation potential of hBMSCs were examined quantitatively by PrestoBlue assay, Ki67 immunofluorescence assay, real-time PCR technology and ALP staining. For in vivo detection, the repaired femur were evaluated by histomorphology and double fluorescence labeling 3 months postoperation. Porous tantalum coating surfaces promoted hBMSCs adhesion, proliferation, osteogenesis activity and had better osseointegration and faster new bone formation rate than titanium coating control. Our observation suggested that the porous tantalum coatings had good biocompatibility and could enhance osseoinductivity in vitro and promote new bone formation in vivo. The porous tantalum coatings prepared by VPS is a promising strategy for bone regeneration.