In this study a self-assembled arrays of titanium dioxide nanotube was used to investigate the adhesion, spreading and substrate interaction of osteoblast cells at the bio- nano interface.
Focused ion beam (FIB), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and In-situ Liquid TEM of osteoblast were used to investigate the cell proliferation, morphology and adhesion at the nanotube interfaces. Chemical analysis from the osteoblasts, osteoblast-nanotube interface, and milled areas of cell attached to nanotubes, revealed that the lipid bilayer of the cells has been grown inside the nanotubes, resulting in complete coverage and clogging of the nanotubes. The results indicated that osteoblasts spreading, adhesion and substrate interaction is higher in surfaces covered by nanotubes compared to bare surfaces of commonly used surgical pure Ti and Ti6Al4V alloys. In situ Liquid TEM studies provided novel insights into the dynamics and mechanisms of HA nucleation and biomineralization of titania nanotubes.