Scientific Reports

Regulation of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Differentiation by Nanopatterning of Bulk Metallic Glass

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Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) differentiation is regulated by surface modification including texturing, which is applied to materials to enhance tissue integration. Here, we used Pt57.5Cu14.7Ni5.3P22.5 bulk metallic glass (Pt-BMG) with nanopatterned surfaces achieved by thermoplastic forming to influence differentiation of human MSCs. Pt-BMGs are a unique class of amorphous metals with high strength, elasticity, corrosion resistance, and an unusual plastic-like processability. It was found that flat and nanopattened Pt-BMGs induced osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation, respectively. In addition, osteogenic differentiation on flat BMG exceeded that observed on medical grade titanium and was associated with increased formation of focal adhesions and YAP nuclear localization. In contrast, cells on nanopatterned BMGs exhibited rounded morphology, formed less focal adhesions and had mostly cytoplasmic YAP. These changes were preserved on nanopatterns made of nanorods with increased stiffness due to shorter aspect ratios, suggesting that MSC differentiation was primarily influenced by topography. These observations indicate that both elemental composition and nanotopography can modulate biochemical cues and influence MSCs. Moreover, the processability and highly tunable nature of Pt-BMGs enables the creation of a wide range of surface topographies that can be reproducibly and systematically studied, leading to the development of implants capable of engineering MSC functions.