A Bottom-Up Approach Grafts Collagen Fibrils Perpendicularly to Titanium Surfaces

Eloise P. Miller, Jonathan K. Pokorski, Leena Palomo, Steven J. Eppell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Currently, titanium dental implant apposition to bone is achieved via osseointegration leading to ankylosis. A biomimetic Sharpey's fiber-type interface could be constructed around collagen fibrils robustly attached and projecting perpendicularly from the titanium surface. We present a proof-of-concept for a method to create upright-standing collagen nanofibrils covalently bonded to a titanium surface. The method involves activation of the titanium surface using a plasma discharge treatment followed by functionalization with an oxyamine-terminated silane coupling molecule. Using Rapoport's salt, the N-termini of individual type I collagen monomers are converted to ketones. When presented to the functionalized titanium surface, these ketones form oxime linkages with the silanes thus immobilizing the collagen. In a two-step process, these covalently bonded monomers act as sites for the formation of fibrils. Many fibril-surface junctions were observed by scanning electron microscopy on three different surfaces. These findings set the stage for working toward a high surface density of such features which might act as a platform from which to build a synthetic ligament.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6088-6095
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Bio Materials
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 21 2020


  • biomimetic transamination
  • collagen
  • nanostructures
  • surface chemistry
  • titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biochemistry, medical


Dive into the research topics of 'A Bottom-Up Approach Grafts Collagen Fibrils Perpendicularly to Titanium Surfaces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this