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Polyether ether ketone implants achieve increased bone fusion when coated with nano-sized hydroxyapatite: a histomorphometric study in rabbit bone

Authors Johansson P, Jimbo R, Naito Y, Kjellin P, Currie F, Wennerberg A

Received 12 November 2015

Accepted for publication 22 January 2016

Published 6 April 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1435—1442

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S100424

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristian Vilos

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Webster


Pär Johansson,1 Ryo Jimbo,1 Yoshihito Naito,2 Per Kjellin,3 Fredrik Currie,3 Ann Wennerberg1

1Department of Prosthodontics, Faculty of Odontology, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden; 2Oral Implant Center, Tokushima University Hospital, Tokushima, Japan; 3Promimic AB, Stena Center, Göteborg, Sweden

Abstract: Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) possesses excellent mechanical properties similar to those of human bone and is considered the best alternative material other than titanium for orthopedic spine and trauma implants. However, the deficient osteogenic properties and the bioinertness of PEEK limit its fields of application. The aim of this study was to limit these drawbacks by coating the surface of PEEK with nano-scaled hydroxyapatite (HA) minerals. In the study, the biological response to PEEK, with and without HA coating, was investigated. Twenty-four screw-like and apically perforated implants in the rabbit femur were histologically evaluated at 3 weeks and 12 weeks after surgery. Twelve of the 24 implants were HA coated (test), and the remaining 12 served as uncoated PEEK controls. At 3 weeks and 12 weeks, the mean bone–implant contact was higher for test compared to control (P<0.05). The bone area inside the threads was comparable in the two groups, but the perforating hole showed more bone area for the HA-coated implants at both healing points (P<0.01). With these results, we conclude that nano-sized HA coating on PEEK implants significantly improved the osteogenic properties, and in a clinical situation this material composition may serve as an implant where a rapid bone fusion is essential.

Keywords: HA, PEEK, osseointegration, histology, orthopedics, in vivo

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