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Important biomaterial surface characteristics, such as charge, roughness, and chemistry, can be varied in a predictable fashion in a single step by using an assembly of silica nanoparticles (NP). The nanoparticle surface modifications enhance the growth and osteogenic differentiation of human-bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal progenitor cells (MPCs), as assessed by the up-regulation of bone sialoprotein mRNA expression. NP-based surface modification may find potential applications beyond biomaterials and into the realm of photonics and thin-film assemblies. The surface modification approach is suitable for application to a wide range of biomaterials as it is independent of bulk characteristics. The ability to vary texture and biomolecular information at the biomaterial/tissue interface in a spatially controlled manner may lend itself to nanoscale biomimetic engineering of biomaterial surfaces, which may be particularly suitable for directing the differentiation of stem cells into specific lineages.

Original publication




Journal article


Advanced Materials

Publication Date





553 - 557