Developing “osteoimmune-smart” bone substitute materials have become the forefront of research in bone regeneration. Biocompatible polymer coatings are applied widely to improve the bioactivity of bone substitute materials. In this context, polyoxazolines (Pox) have attracted substantial attention recently due to properties such as biocompatibility, stability, and low biofouling. In view of these useful properties, it is interesting to explore the capacity of Pox as an osteoimmunomodulatory agent to generate a favorable osteoimmune environment for osteogenesis. We applied a technique called plasma polymerization and succeeded in preparing Pox-like coatings (Ppox) and engineered their nanotopography at the nanoscale. We found that Ppox switched macrophages towards M2 extreme, thus inhibiting the release of inflammatory cytokines. The underlying mechanism may be related to the suppression of TLR pathway. The generated osteoimmune environment improved osteogenesis while inhibited osteoclastogenesis. This may be related to the release of osteogenic factors, especially Wnt10b from macrophages. The addition of nanotopography (16 nm, 38 nm, 68 nm) can tune the Ppox-mediated inhibition on inflammation and osteoclastic activities, while no significant effects were observed within the tested nano sizes on the Ppox-mediated osteogenesis. These results collectively suggest that Ppox can be useful as an effective osteoiumunomodulatory agent to endow bone substitute materials with favourable osteoimmunomodulatory property. Statement of Significance: In this study, we succeeded in preparing plasma deposited Pox-like nano-coatings (Ppox) via plasma polymerization and found that Ppox nanotopographies are useful osteoimmunomodulatory tools. Their osteoimmunodolatory effects and underlying mechanisms are unveiled. It is the first investigation into the feasibility of applying poly-oxazoline as an osteoimmunomodulatory agent. This expand the application of poly-oxazoline into the forefront in bone regeneration area for the development of advanced “osteoimmune-smart” bone substitute materials.
- Bone regeneration
- Plasma polymerization