Cell Adhesion to Borate Glasses by Colloidal Probe Microscopy


The adhesion of osteoblast-like cells to silicate and borate glasses was measured in cell growth medium using colloidal probe microscopy. The probes consisted of silicate and borate glass spheres, 25-50 μm in diameter, attached to atomic force microscope cantilevers. Variables of the study included glass composition and time of contact of the cell to the glasses. Increasing the time of contact from 15 to 900 s increased the force of adhesion. The data could be plotted linearly on a log-log plot of adhesive force versus time. Of the seven glasses tested, five had slopes close to 0.5, suggesting a square root dependence of the adhesive force on the contact time. Such behavior can be interpreted as a diffusion limited process occurring during the early stages of cell attachment. We suggest that the rate limiting step in the adhesion process is the diffusion of integrins resident in the cell membrane to the area of cell attachment. Data presented in this paper support the hypothesis of Hench et al. that strong adhesion depends on the formation of a calcium phosphate reaction layer on the surfaces of the glass. Glasses that did not form a calcium phosphate layer exhibited a weaker adhesive force relative to those glasses that did form a calcium phosphate layer.


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Cell Adhesion; Atomic Force Microscopy; Colloidal Probe Microscopy; Bioactive Glass; Borate Glasses

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Document Type

Article - Journal

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© 2011 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2011