Surface plasma treatment and phosphorylation enhance the biological performance of poly(ether ether ketone)

Naoyuki Fukuda, Akira Tsuchiya, Sunarso, Riki Toita, Kanji Tsuru, Yoshihide Mori, Kunio Ishikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) has emerged as an alternative endosseous material to metal implants mainly because of its lack of allergic sensitivity and radiolucency, while maintaining similar mechanical properties with bone. However, a disadvantage of PEEK is its weak osseointegration ability compared with metal implants. To overcome this, we prepared a phosphate group-modified PEEK by plasma treatment and subsequent phosphorylation reaction. Plasma treatment and phosphate modification of PEEK changed its hydrophobic surface to a hydrophilic surface while maintaining the original surface topography and roughness. Phosphate modification increased the bioactivity of rat bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs), including proliferation, alkaline phosphatase activity, and bone-like nodule formation; however, this effect was negligible in plasma-treated PEEK. In addition, phosphate modification attenuated the phenotypic polarization of lipopolysaccharide-primed RAW264.7 macrophages to an inflammatory phenotype, based on the finding that macrophages on phosphate-modified PEEK produced decreased levels of the inflammatory cytokine and increased levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine. Finally, in an animal study, phosphate-modified PEEK exhibited a doubled pullout force from the femur bone cavity compared with bare PEEK. Thus, we conclude that phosphate modification can significantly improves the implant-bone bonding strength of PEEK by enhancing BMSCs activity and reducing excessive inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-42
Number of pages7
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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