Osteoconductive protamine-based polyelectrolyte multilayer functionalized surfaces

Raymond E. Samuel, Anita Shukla, Daniel H. Paik, Mary X. Wang, Jean C. Fang, Daniel J. Schmidt, Paula T. Hammond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The integration of orthopedic implants with host bone presents a major challenge in joint arthroplasty, spinal fusion and tumor reconstruction. The cellular microenvironment can be programmed via implant surface functionalization allowing direct modulation of osteoblast adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation at the implant-bone interface. The development of layer-by-layer assembled polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM) architectures has greatly expanded our ability to fabricate intricate nanometer to micron scale thin film coatings that conform to complex implant geometries. The in vivo therapeutic efficacy of thin PEM implant coatings for numerous biomedical applications has previously been reported. We have fabricated protamine-based PEM thin films that support the long-term proliferation and differentiation of pre-osteoblast cells on non-cross-linked film-coated surfaces. These hydrophilic PEM functionalized surfaces with nanometer-scale roughness facilitated increased deposition of calcified matrix by osteoblasts in vitro, and thus offer the potential to enhance implant integration with host bone. The coatings can make an immediate impact in the osteogenic culture of stem cells and assessment of the osteogenic potential of new therapeutic factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7491-7502
Number of pages12
Issue number30
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants ( 5R01AG029601 ) to P.T. Hammond from US National Institutes of Health National Institute of Aging (NIH NIA) . R.E.Samuel thanks the NIH NIA for support via a Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research. A. Shukla gratefully acknowledges support from a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship . Use of the Center for Materials Science and Engineering Shared Experimental Facilities and Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies at MIT are greatly appreciated.


  • Layer-by-layer assembly
  • Osteoblast
  • Osteoconduction
  • Polyelectrolyte multilayers films
  • Protamine
  • Surface modification


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