Femtosecond laser treatment of 316L improves its surface nanoroughness and carbon content and promotes osseointegration: An in vitro evaluation

Cell-material surface interaction plays a critical role in osseointegration of prosthetic implants used in orthopedic surgeries and dentistry. Different technical approaches exist to improve surface properties of such implants either by coating or by modification of their topography. Femtosecond laser treatment was used in this study to generate microspotted lines separated by 75, 125, or 175μm wide nanostructured interlines on stainless steel (316L) plates. The hydrophobicity and carbon content of the metallic surface were improved simultaneously through this method. In vitro testing of the laser treated plates revealed a significant improvement in adhesion of human endothelial cells and human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBM MSCs), the cells involved in microvessel and bone formation, respectively, and a significant decrease in fibroblast adhesion, which is implicated in osteolysis and aseptic loosening of prostheses. The hBM MSCs showed an increased bone formation rate on the laser treated plates under osteogenic conditions; the highest mineral deposition was obtained on the surface with 125 μm interline distance (292± 18 mg/cm2 vs. 228 ± 43 mg/cm2on untreated surface). Further in vivo testing of these laser treated surfaces in the native prosthetic implant niche would give a real insight into their effectiveness in improving osseointegration and their potential use in clinical applications.