Bio-medical materials and engineering

Interaction between titanium and phosphoproteins revealed by chromatography column packed with titanium beads.

PMID 23023145


The biochemical mechanism behind the strong binding between titanium and living bone has not been fully elucidated, in spite of worldwide clinical application of this phenomenon. We hypothesized that one of the core mechanisms may reside in the interaction between certain proteins in the host tissues and the implanted titanium. To verify the interaction between titanium and proteins, we chose the technique of chromatography in that titanium spherical beads (45 μm) were packed into a column to obtain a bed volume of 16×50 mm, which was eluted with phosphate buffered saline (PBS) and a straight gradient system made by using PBS and 25 mM NaOH. Fetal calf serum, albumin, lysozyme, casein, phosvitin and dentin phosphoprotein (phosphophoryn) were applied to the column. Most part of albumin and lysozyme eluted with the breakthrough peak, indicating practically no affinity to titanium. Fetal bovine serum also eluted mostly as the breakthrough peak, but distinct retained peak was observed. On the other hand, α-casein, phosvitin and phosphophoryn exhibited a distinct retained peak separated from the breakthrough peak. We proposed that phosphate groups (phosphoserines) in the major phosphoproteins, α-casein, phosvitin and phosphophoryn may be involved in the binding of these proteins with titanium.

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