Nano-topographical surface engineering for enhancing bioactivity of PEEK implants (in vitro—histomorphometric study)

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Clinical Oral Investigations


Objectives: Dental implants are currently becoming a routine treatment decision in dentistry. Synthetic polyetheretherketone (PEEK) polymer is a prevalent component of dental implantology field. The current study aimed to assess the influence of Nd:YAG laser nano-topographical surface engineering combined with ultraviolet light or platelet rich fibrin on the bioactivity and osseointegration of PEEK implants in laboratory and animal testing model. Materials and methods: Computer Aided Design-Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD CAM) discs of PEEK were used to fabricate PEEK discs (8 mm × 3 mm) N = 36 and implant cylinders (3 mm × 6 mm) N = 72. Specimens were exposed to Nd:YAG laser at wavelength 1064 nm, and surface roughness topography/Ra parameter was recorded in nanometer using atomic force microscopy. Laser modified specimens were divided into three groups: Nd:YAG laser engineered surfaces (control), Nd:YAG laser/UV engineered surfaces and Nd:YAG laser/PRF engineered surfaces (N = 12 discs–N = 24 implants). In vitro bioactivity test was performed, and precipitated apatite minerals were assessed with X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In vivo histomorphometric analysis was performed in rabbits with BIC% calculation. Results: Ra mean value of PEEK laser engineered surfaces was 125.179 nm. For the studied groups, XRD patterns revealed distinctive peaks of different apatite minerals that were demonstrated by SEM as dispersed surface aggregations. There was a significant increase in the BIC% from control group 56.43 (0.97) to laser/UV surfaces 77.30 (0.78) to laser/PRF 84.80 (1.29) (< 0.0001). Conclusions: Successful engineered nano-topographical biomimetic PEEK implant could be achieved by Nd:YAG laser technique associated with improving bioactivity. The combination with UV or PRF could be simple and economic methods to gain more significant improvement of PEEK implant surface bioactivity with superior osteointegration.

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