The interaction of adipose-derived human mesenchymal stem cells and polyether ether ketone


Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) as a high-performance, thermoplastic implant material entered the field of medical applications due to its structural function and commercial availability. In bone tissue engineering, the combination of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) with PEEK implants may accelerate the bone formation and promote the osseointegration between the implant and the adjacent bone tissue. In this concept the question how PEEK influences the behaviour and functions of MSCs is of great interest. Here the cellular response of human adipose-derived MSCs to PEEK was evaluated and compared to tissue culture plate (TCP) as the reference material. Viability and morphology of cells were not altered when cultured on the PEEK film. The cells on PEEK presented a high proliferation activity in spite of a relatively lower initial cell adhesion rate. There was no significant difference on cell apoptosis and senescence between the cells on PEEK and TCP. The inflammatory cytokines and VEGF secreted by the cells on these two surfaces were at similar levels. The cells on PEEK showed up-regulated BMP2 and down-regulated BMP4 and BMP6 gene expression, whereas no conspicuous differences were observed in the committed osteoblast markers (BGLAP, COL1A1 and Runx2). With osteoinduction the cells on PEEK and TCP exhibited a similar osteogenic differentiation potential. Our results demonstrate the biofunctionality of PEEK for human MSC cultivation and differentiation. Its clinical benefits in bone tissue engineering may be achieved by combining MSCs with PEEK implants. These data may also provide useful information for further modification of PEEK with chemical or physical methods to regulate the cellular processes of MSCs and to consequently improve the efficacy of MSC-PEEK based therapies.
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