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Macrophage proteomic analysis of covalent immobilization of hyaluronic acid and graphene oxide on CoCr alloy in a tribocorrosive environment.

In this work, a sequential covalent immobilization of graphene oxide (GO) and hyaluronic acid (HA) is performed to obtain a biocompatible wear-resistant nanocoating on the surface of the biomedical grade cobalt-chrome (CoCr) alloy. Nanocoated CoCr surfaces were characterized by Raman spectroscopy and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) in 3 g/L HA electrolyte. Tribocorrosion tests of the nanocoated CoCr surfaces were carried out in a pin on flat tribometer. The biological response of covalently HA/GO biofunctionalized CoCr surfaces with and without wear-corrosion processes was studied through the analysis of the proteome of macrophages. Raman spectra revealed characteristic bands of GO and HA on the functionalized CoCr surfaces. The electrochemical response by EIS showed a stable and protective behavior over 23 days in the simulated biological environment. HA/GO covalently immobilized on CoCr alloy is able to protect the surface and reduce the wear volume released under tribocorrosion tests. Unsupervised classification analysis of the macrophage proteome via hierarchical clustering and principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the covalent functionalization on CoCr enhances the macrophage biocompatibility in vitro. On the other hand, disruption of the HA/GO nanocoating by tribocorrosion processes induced a macrophage proteome which was differently clustered and was distantly located in the PCA space. In addition, tribocorrosion induced an increase in the percentage of upregulated and downregulated proteins in the macrophage proteome, revealing that disruption of the covalent nanocoating impacts the macrophage proteome. Although macrophage inflammation induced by tribocorrosion of HA/GO/CoCr surfaces is observed, it is ameliorated by the covalently grafting of HA, which provides immunomodulation by eliciting downregulations in characteristic pro-inflammatory signaling involved in inflammation and aseptic loosening of CoCr joint arthroplasties. Covalent HA/GO nanocoating on CoCr provides potential applications for in vivo joint prostheses led a reduced metal-induced inflammation and degradation by wear-corrosion.

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