Exogenous Protein Delivery of Ionic Liquid-Mediated HMGB1 Coating on Titanium Implants

Document Type


Publication Date



Strategies for modifying titanium (Ti) implant surfaces are becoming increasingly popular to enhance osseointegration during acute and inflammatory healing stages. In this study, two dicationic imidazolium-based ionic liquids (IonLs) containing phenylalanine and methionine anions (IonL-Phe(1,10-bis(3-methylimidazolium-1-yl)decane diphenylalanine) and IonL-Met(1,10-bis(3-methylimidazolium-1-yl)decane dimethionine)) were investigated to stably deliver exogenous proteins on Ti to promote osseointegration. The protein selected for this study is High-Mobility Group Box 1 (HMGB1), which recruits inflammatory and mesenchymal stem cells to the implantation site, contributing to healing. To explore IonL–Ti interactions and HMGB1 stability on the IonL-coated surface, experimental characterization techniques including X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, dynamic scanning calorimetry (DSC), and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC–MS) were used along with molecular dynamics (MD) computer simulations to provide a detailed molecular level description. Results show well-structured IonL molecules on the Ti surface that impact protein crystallization and coating morphology. IonL cations and anions were found to bind strongly to oppositely charged residues of the protein. LC–MS/MS reveals that HMGB1 B-box lysine residues bind strongly to the IonLs. Stronger interactions of HMGB1 with Ion-Phe in contrast to IonL-Met results in greater retention capacity of HMGB1 in the IonL-Phe coating. Overall, this study provides evidence that the selected IonLs strongly interact with HMGB1, which can be a potential surface treatment for bone-implantable Ti devices.


Copyright © 2023 American Chemical Society Request reuse permissions

Publication Title

ACS Langmuir

Academic Level