Event Abstract

Augmenting the bioactivity of polyetheretherketone

  • 1 University College London, Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculo-Skeletal Science, United Kingdom
  • 2 Exogenesis, United States

Background: Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) may be advantageous as an alternative material to metal alloys in some orthopaedic applications. However, it is bioinert and does not osteointegrate[1]. A novel accelerated neutral atom beam technique (ANAB) has been developed to improve the bioactivity of PEEK where the surface is modified to a depth of 5 nm without affecting the integrity of the underlying PEEK structure[2].

Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the growth of human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hMSCs), adult human Osteoblasts (hOB) and skin Fibroblasts (BR3G) on PEEK and ANAB treated PEEK surfaces.

Materials and Methods: The surface properties of PEEK and ANAB PEEK were characterized by measuring surface roughness and contact angle. Cells were seeded at a density of 10,000/cm2 on PEEK, ANAB PEEK and a Thermonox control. Cell proliferation, attachment, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity on these surfaces was quantified at 7 and 14 days (n = 2).  Cell attachment was measured by staining adhesion plaques with anti-vinculin.  Attachment was quantified by measuring the number of plaques per cell on day 3.  A Mann Whitney-U test was used to compare groups where p values < 0.05 were considered significant.

Results: ANAB treatment increased the hydrophilicity of the PEEK surface (91.74 ± 4.80º (PEEK) vs 74.82 ± 2.70º (ANAB PEEK), P<0.001) with no changes in surface roughness.

Cell proliferation for all cell types significantly increased on ANAB PEEK surfaces when compared to PEEK at both day 7 and 14. Results showed no significant differences when the proliferation of BR3G and hMSC on ANAB PEEK was compared with Thermonox at 7 and 14 days, whereas hOB proliferation significantly reduced at these time points on ANAB PEEK compared with Thermonox.

Increased cell attachment with all cell types was measured on ANAB PEEK when compared with PEEK at day 3.  MSCs seeded on ANAB PEEK in the presence of osteogenic media, expressed significantly increased levels of ALP compared to normal PEEK (p<0.05).

Conclusion: ANAB increased the bioactivity of PEEK by significantly increasing the osteogenic differentiation of MSCs and by significantly enhancing the proliferation of osteoblasts. This method may improve the osteointegration of PEEK implants.

Orthopaedic Research UK; Exogenesis

[1] Kurtz SM, Biomaterials.2007 Nov; 28(32)
[2] J Khoury, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B. 2012 Jul; 307(630-634)

Keywords: Cell Adhesion, Implant, Surface modification, bioactive interface

Conference: 10th World Biomaterials Congress, Montréal, Canada, 17 May - 22 May, 2016.

Presentation Type: Poster

Topic: Biomaterials in musculoskeletal orthopeadics and tissues

Citation: Ajami S, Coathup M, Khoury J and Blunn G (2016). Augmenting the bioactivity of polyetheretherketone. Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol. Conference Abstract: 10th World Biomaterials Congress. doi: 10.3389/conf.FBIOE.2016.01.02282

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Received: 27 Mar 2016; Published Online: 30 Mar 2016.