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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 740726, 8 pages
Research Article

Insights into the Alteration of Osteoblast Mechanical Properties upon Adhesion on Chitosan

Laboratory of Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics, University of Patras, 26504 Rio, Patras, Greece

Received 31 October 2013; Revised 16 April 2014; Accepted 13 May 2014; Published 29 May 2014

Academic Editor: Andrea Scribante

Copyright © 2014 Antonia G. Moutzouri and George M. Athanassiou. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cell adhesion on substrates is accompanied by significant changes in shape and cytoskeleton organization, which affect subsequent cellular and tissue responses, determining the long-term success of an implant. Alterations in osteoblast stiffness upon adhesion on orthopaedic implants with different surface chemical composition and topography are, thus, of central interest in the field of bone implant research. This work aimed to study the mechanical response of osteoblasts upon adhesion on chitosan-coated glass surfaces and to investigate possible correlations with the level of adhesion, spreading, and cytoskeleton reorganization. Using the micropipette aspiration technique, the osteoblast elastic modulus was found higher on chitosan-coated than on uncoated control substrates, and it was found to increase in the course of spreading for both substrates. The cell-surface contact area was measured throughout several time points of adhesion to quantify cell spreading kinetics. Significant differences were found between chitosan and control surfaces regarding the response of cell spreading, while both groups displayed a sigmoidal kinetical behavior with an initially elevated spreading rate which stabilizes in the second hour of attachment. Actin filament structural changes were confirmed after observation with confocal microscope. Biomaterial surface modification can enhance osteoblast mechanical response and induce favorable structural organization for the implant integration.