Silane-Coating Strategy for Titanium Functionalization Does Not Impair Osteogenesis In Vivo

Materials, Vol. 14 (2021)

  • Plinio Mendes Senna
  • Health Science Center, Unigranrio University, Rio de Janeiro 25071-202, Brazil
  • Carlos Fernando de Almeida Barros Mourão
  • Biotechnology Department, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niteroi 24070-035, Brazil
  • Rafael Coutinho Mello-Machado
  • Graduate Program, School of Dentistry, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niteroi 24020-140, Brazil
  • Kayvon Javid
  • Graduate Program, School of Dentistry, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niteroi 24020-140, Brazil
  • Pietro Montemezzi
  • Private Practice, 24128 Bergamo, Italy
  • Altair Antoninha Del Bel Cury
  • Department of Prosthodontics and Periodontology, Piracicaba Dental School, State University of Campinas, Piracicaba 13414-903, Brazil
  • Luiz Meirelles
  • Division of Prosthodontics, Eastman Dental Center, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14620, USA


Silane-coating strategy has been used to bind biological compounds to the titanium surface, thereby making implant devices biologically active. However, it has not been determined if the presence of the silane coating itself is biocompatible to osseointegration. The aim of the present study was to evaluate if silane-coating affects bone formation on titanium using a rabbit model. For this, titanium screw implants (3.75 by 6 mm) were hydroxylated in a solution of H2SO4/30% H2O2 for 4 h before silane-coating with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES). A parallel set of titanium screws underwent only the hydroxylation process to present similar acid-etched topography as a control. The presence of the silane on the surface was checked by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). A total of 40 titanium screws were implanted in the tibia of ten New Zealand rabbits in order to evaluate bone-to-implant contact (BIC) after 3 weeks and 6 weeks of healing. Silane-coated surface presented higher nitrogen content in the XPS analysis, while micro- and nano-topography of the surface remained unaffected. No difference between the groups was observed after 3 and 6 weeks of healing (p > 0.05, independent t-test), although an increase in BIC occurred over time. These results indicate that silanization of a titanium surface with APTES did not impair the bone formation, indicating that this can be a reliable tool to anchor osteogenic molecules on the surface of implant devices.

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