Use of tissue transglutaminase and fibronectin to influence osteoblast responses to tricalcium phosphate scaffolds
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To explore the possibility of controlling cell interaction with biomaterials, tricalcium phosphate scaffolds were modified using the enzyme tissue transglutaminase (tTgase) in conjunction with fibronectin. Previous reports in the literature have highlighted a number of favourable responses that this protein–enzyme complex can stimulate, including enhancing both cell adhesion, and mineralisation. Fibronectin and tTgase alone were used as controls, and a series of different concentrations of tTgase and fibronectin in combination were assessed. Cell metabolic activity, alkaline phosphatase production, and collagen content were all measured in cultures up to 28 days. Using tetracycline labelling, calcium containing multilayered regions were imaged and quantified. Addition of 6 μg fibronectin resulted in increased alkaline phosphatase activity in all combinations, while increased transglutaminase resulted in more collagen in the cell lysates. Samples treated with fibronectin produced many small mineralised areas, those with 6 μg fibronectin and transglutaminase produced numerous large mineralised areas. The mixture of fibronectin and transglutaminase may prove to be a useful treatment for producing increased osteoblast differentiation on scaffolds.