High-strength, surface-porous polyether-ether-ketone for load-bearing orthopedic implants.
Despite its widespread clinical use in load-bearing orthopedic implants, polyether-ether-ketone (PEEK) is often associated with poor osseointegration. In this study, a surface-porous PEEK material (PEEK-SP) was created using a melt extrusion technique. The porous layer was 399.6±63.3 μm thick and possessed a mean pore size of 279.9±31.6 μm, strut spacing of 186.8±55.5 μm, porosity of 67.3±3.1% and interconnectivity of 99.9±0.1%. Monotonic tensile tests showed that PEEK-SP preserved 73.9% of the strength (71.06±2.17 MPa) and 73.4% of the elastic modulus (2.45±0.31 GPa) of as-received, injection-molded PEEK. PEEK-SP further demonstrated a fatigue strength of 60.0 MPa at one million cycles, preserving 73.4% of the fatigue resistance of injection-molded PEEK. Interfacial shear testing showed the pore layer shear strength to be 23.96±2.26 MPa. An osseointegration model in the rat revealed substantial bone formation within the pore layer at 6 and 12 weeks via microcomputed tomography and histological evaluation. Ingrown bone was more closely apposed to the pore wall and fibrous tissue growth was reduced in PEEK-SP when compared to non-porous PEEK controls. These results indicate that PEEK-SP could provide improved osseointegration while maintaining the structural integrity necessary for load-bearing orthopedic applications.
Evans, NT; Torstrick, FB; Lee, CSD; Dupont, KM; Safranski, DL; Chang, WA; Macedo, AE; Lin, ASP; Boothby, JM; Whittingslow, DC; Carson, RA; Guldberg, RE; Gall, K
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