Osteoblast cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix is established through two main pathways: one is mediated by the binding between integrin and a minimal adhesion sequence (RGD) on the extracellular protein, the other is based on the interactions between transmembrane proteoglycans and heparin-binding sequences found in many matrix proteins. The aim of this study is the evaluation in an in vivo endosseous implant model of the early osteogenic response of the peri-implant bone to a biomimetic titanium surface functionalized with the retro-inverso 2DHVP peptide, an analogue of Vitronectin heparin binding site. The experimental plan is based on a bilateral study design of Control and 2DHVP implants inserted respectively in the right and left femur distal metaphysis of adult male Wistar rats (n=16) weighing about 300 gr and evaluated after 15 days. Fluorochromic bone vital markers, were given at specific time frame, in order to monitor the dynamic of new bone deposition. The effect inducted by the peptidomimetic coating on the surrounding bone were qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated by means of static and dynamic histomorphometric analyses performed within three concentric and subsequent circular Regions of Interest (ROI) of equivalent thickness (220 μm), ROI1 adjacent to the interface, ROI2, the middle, and ROI3 the farthest. The data indicated that these functionalized implants stimulated a higher bone apposition rate (p<0,01) and larger and rapid osteoblast activation in terms of mineralising surface within ROI1 compared to the Control (p<0,01). These higher osteoblast recruitment and activation leads to a greater bone to implant contact reached for DHVP samples (p<0,5). This represents an initial stimulus of the osteogenic activity that might results in a faster and better osteointegration process.
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