Enhanced osteogenic and selective antibacterial activities on micro-/nano-structured carbon fiber reinforced polyetheretherketone†
Carbon fiber reinforced polyetheretherketone (CFRPEEK) possesses a similar elastic modulus to that of human cortical bone and is considered as a promising candidate to replace metallic surgical implants. However, the bioinertness and deficiency of antibacterial activities impedes the application of CFRPEEK as orthopedic and especially oral implants. In this work, dual zinc and oxygen plasma immersion ion implantation (Zn/O-PIII) is applied to modify CFRPEEK, achieving both zinc incorporation and introduction of unique micro-/nano-structures on the surface. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observation reveals the formation of micro-pits with the size of around 800 nm on the CFRPEEK surface. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) test results confirm the existence of ZnO on the near surface. In vitro cell adhesion, viability assay, and real-time PCR analyses disclose enhanced adhesion, proliferation, and osteo-differentiation of mouse osteoblasts (MC3T3-E1) and rat bone mesenchymal stem cells (bMSCs) on the structured surface. Furthermore, the multilevel structures on CFRPEEK exhibit great antibacterial activity to biofilm-positive Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923), MRSA (ATCC 43300) and Staphylococcus epidermidis (ATCC 35984) while show no obvious inhibition to Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC 27853) and biofilm-negative Staphylococcus epidermidis (ATCC 12228). The obtained results indicate that the CFRPEEK surface with specific biological properties can be enhanced by zinc incorporation and multilevel structure introduction, through which the application of CFRPEEK to orthopedic and dental implants can be further broadened.