The improvement in the research area of the implant by surface functionalization when correlated with the biological response is of major interest in the biomedical field. Based on the fact that the inflammatory response is directly involved in the ultimate response of the implant within the body, it is essential to study the macrophage-material interactions. Within this context, we have investigated the composite material-macrophage cell interactions and the inflammatory response to these composites with amorphous hydroxyapatite (HA), Lactoferrin (Lf), and polyethylene glycol-polycaprolactone (PEG-PCL) copolymer. All materials are obtained by Matrix Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation (MAPLE) technique and characterized by Atomic Force Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy. Macrophage-differentiated THP-1 cells proliferation and metabolic activity were assessed by qualitative and quantitative methods. The secretion of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin 10 (IL-10) cytokine, in the presence and absence of the inflammatory stimuli (bacterial endotoxin; lipopolysaccharide (LPS)), was measured using an ELISA assay. Our results revealed that the cellular response depended on the physical-chemical characteristics of the coatings. Copolymer-HA-Lf coatings led to low level of pro-inflammatory TNF-α, the increased level of anti-inflammatory IL-10, and the polarization of THP-1 cells towards an M2 pro-reparative phenotype in the presence of LPS. These findings could have important potential for the development of composite coatings in implant applications.
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