A major number of studies have demonstrated Beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) biocompatibility, bioactivity, and osteoconductivity characteristics in bone regeneration. The aim of this research was to enhance β-TCP's biocompatibility, and evaluate its physicochemical properties by argon glow discharge plasma (GDP) plasma surface treatment without modifying its surface. Treated β-TCP was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive spectrometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray diffraction analysis, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy characterization. To evaluate treated β-TCP biocompatibility and osteoblastic differentiation, water-soluble tetrazolium salts-1 (WST-1), immunofluorescence, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) assay, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (QPCR) were done using human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). The results indicated a slight enhancement of the β-TCP by GDP sputtering, which resulted in a higher Ca/P ratio (2.05) than the control. Furthermore, when compared with control β-TCP, we observed an improvement of WST-1 on all days (p < 0.05) as well as of ALP activity (day 7, p < 0.05), with up-regulation of ALP, osteocalcin, and Osteoprotegerin osteogenic genes in cells cultured with the treated β-TCP. XPS and SEM results indicated that treated β-TCP’s surface was not modified. In vivo, micro-computed tomography and histomorphometric analysis indicated that the β-TCP test managed to regenerate more new bone than the untreated β-TCP and control defects at 8 weeks (p < 0.05). Argon GDP treatment is a viable method for removing macro and micro particles of < 7 μm in size from β-TCP bigger particles surfaces and therefore improving its biocompatibility with slight surface roughness modification, enhancing hMSCs proliferation, osteoblastic differentiation, and stimulating more new bone formation.
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