The Implant Proteome : The Right Surgical Glue to Fix Titanium Implants In Situ

Titanium implants are frequently applied to the bone in orthopedic and trauma surgery. Although these biomaterials are characterized by excellent implant survivorship and clinical outcomes, there are almost no data available on the initial protein layer binding to the implant surface in situ. This study aims to investigate the composition of the initial protein layer on endoprosthetic surfaces as a key initiating step in osseointegration. In patients qualified for total hip arthroplasty, the implants are inserted into the femoral canal, fixed and subsequently explanted after 2 and 5 min. The proteins adsorbed to the surface (the implant proteome) are analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). A statistical analysis of the proteins' alteration with longer incubation times reveals a slight change in their abundance according to the Vroman effect. The pathways involved in the extracellular matrix organization of bone, sterile inflammation and the beginning of an immunogenic response governed by neutrophils are significantly enriched based on the analysis of the implant proteome. Those are generally not changed with longer incubation times. In summary, proteins relevant for osseointegration are already adsorbed within 2 min in situ. A deeper understanding of the in situ protein-implant interactions in patients may contribute to optimizing implant surfaces in orthopedic and trauma surgery.


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