Keratinocyte-Specific Peptide-Based Surfaces for Hemidesmosome Upregulation and Prevention of Bacterial Colonization

Nicholas G. Fischer, Dina G. Moussa, Erik P. Skoe, David A. De Jong, Conrado Aparicio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Percutaneous devices like orthopedic prosthetic implants for amputees, catheters, and dental implants suffer from high infection rates. A critical aspect mediating peri-implant infection of dental implants is the lack of a structural barrier between the soft tissue and the implant surface which could impede bacteria access and colonization of exposed implant surfaces. Parafunctional soft tissue regeneration around dental implants is marked by a lack of hemidesmosome formation and thereby weakened mechanical attachment. In response to this healthcare burden, a simultaneously hemidesmosome-inducing, antimicrobial, multifunctional implant surface was engineered. A designer antimicrobial peptide, GL13K, and a laminin-derived peptide, LamLG3, were coimmobilized with two different surface fractional areas. The coimmobilized peptide surfaces showed antibiofilm activity against Streptococcus gordonii while enhancing proliferation, hemidesmosome formation, and mechanical attachment of orally derived keratinocytes. Notably, the coatings demonstrated specific activation of keratinocytes: the coatings showed no effects on gingival fibroblasts which are known to impede the quality of soft tissue attachment to dental implants. These coatings demonstrated stability and retained activity against mechanical and thermochemical challenges, suggesting their intraoral durability. Overall, these multifunctional surfaces may be able to reduce peri-implantitis rates and enhance the success rates of all percutaneous devices via strong antimicrobial activity and enhanced soft tissue attachment to implants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4929-4939
Number of pages11
JournalACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 14 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Ruoqiong Chen, Cole Homer, and Michael Weston for technical assistance for microbiology experiments, centrifugation experiments, and disk fabrication, respectively. Figures were partially created with BioRender. Parts of this work were carried out in the University of Minnesota I.T. Characterization Facility, which receives partial support from NSF through the MRSEC program. NGF acknowledges support from a 3M Science and Technology Fellowship. Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01DE026117 to C.A., T90DE0227232 to N.G.F., and R90DE023058 to D.G.M. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


  • anti-infection
  • antimicrobial
  • hemidesmosome
  • keratinocyte
  • peptide
  • surface

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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