Bioactive zinc-doped sol-gel coating modulates protein adsorption patterns and in vitro cell responses

Cerqueira A., Romero-Gavilan F., Garcia-Arnaez I., Martinez-Ramos C., Ozturan S., Iloro I., ...More

MATERIALS SCIENCE & ENGINEERING C-MATERIALS FOR BIOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS, vol.121, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 121
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.msec.2020.111839


Zinc is an essential element with an important role in stimulating the osteogenesis and mineralization and suppressing osteoclast differentiation. In this study, new bioactive ZnCl2-doped sol-gel materials were designed to be applied as coatings onto titanium. The biomaterials were physicochemically characterized and the cellular responses evaluated in vitro using MC3T3-E1 osteoblasts and RAW264.7 macrophages. The effect of Zn on the adsorption of human serum proteins onto the material surface was evaluated through nLC-MS/MS. The incorporation of Zn did not affect the crosslinking of the sol-gel network. A controlled Zn2+ release was obtained, reaching values below 10 ppm after 21 days. The materials were no cytotoxic and lead to increased gene expression of ALP, TGF-beta, and RUNX2 in the osteoblasts. In macrophages, an increase of IL-1 beta, TGF-beta, and IL-4 gene expression was accompanied by a reduced TNF-alpha liberation. Proteomic results showed changes in the adsorption patterns of proteins associated with immunological, coagulative, and regenerative functions, in a Zn dose-dependent manner. The variations in protein adsorption might lead to the downregulation of the NF-kappa B pathway, thus explain the observed biological effects of Zn incorporation into biomaterials. Overall, these coatings demonstrated their potential to promote bone tissue regeneration.