Biomedical applications of poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) are hindered by its inherent bioinertness and lack of osseointegration capability. In the present study, to enhance osteogenic activity and, hence, the osseointegration capability of PEEK, we proposed a strategy of combined phosphate and calcium surface-functionalization, in which ozone-gas treatment and wet chemistry were used for introduction of hydroxyl groups and modification of phosphate and/or calcium, respectively. Surface functionalization significantly elevated the surface hydrophilicity without changing the surface roughness or topography. The cell study demonstrated that immobilization of phosphate or calcium increased the osteogenesis of rat mesenchymal stem cells compared with bare PEEK, including cell proliferation, alkaline phosphatase activity, and bone-like nodule formation. Interestingly, further enhancement was observed for samples co-immobilized with phosphate and calcium. Furthermore, in the animal study, phosphate and calcium co-functionalized PEEK demonstrated significantly enhanced osseointegration, as revealed by a greater direct bone-to-implant contact ratio and bond strength between the bone and implant than unfunctionalized and phosphate-functionalized PEEK, which paves the way for the orthopedic and dental application of PEEK.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry