MD&M 2010 Presentation: Metal and HA Coating Technologies for PEEK Implants

    • Reference:
    • Robotti, P. Metal and HA Coating Technologies for PEEK Implants. Presented at the 2010 MD&M Meeting in Minneapolis, MN, October 12, 2010.
    • Keywords:
    • PEEK, HA, Ti, coatings, plasma spray
    • Permissions:
    • The PDF handouts for this presentation are made available on with the permission of the author.

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The use of PEEK and Carbon Fiber-Reinforced PEEK (CFR-PEEK) is notably increasing in the biomedical field, especially in spine applications, due to its biocompatibility, radiolucency and favourable stiffness values. In order to improve the bone-implant interface, PEEK implants may be coated with Titanium (Ti) or Hydroxyapatite (HA) via Plasma Spray (PS) processes.

Coatings characterization was performed by SEM analyses, profilometry and optical image analyses. Basic data as bulk surface covering capability, coating porosity, coating roughness and thickness were collected along with adhesion strength coating-substrate.

Parallel with coating characterization it was performed a chemical, physical and mechanical investigation onto coated PEEK samples. This part of the work aims to detect if Plasma Spray (PS) coating process affects the hosting PEEK polymer. Moreover extended fatigue tests screened some potential successful applications from risky bulk-coating-device associations. A properly designed and applied plasma spray process is able to coat PEEK or CFR-PEEK components with potentially improved bone apposition without damaging the substrate’s properties and the coating reliability.


Pierfrancesco Robotti, R&D Manager, Eurocoating Spa

Pierfrancesco Robotti had his MSc in Biomedical Engineering C/o Milan Polytechnic University, Italy. He has served for about 8 years C/o Tecres spa - Italy, an international market leader company, manufacturer of acrylic based bone cements world wide. He was initially a Researcher, later on Research Officer and finally he had Officer responsibility to coordinate Regulatory Affair activities.

Since 2005, he is Research Officer C/o Eurocoating SPA - Italy, an international market leader company, manufacturer of porous structures for bone integration world wide. Eurocoating spa among the others activities, has in place coating services to enable uncemented prostheses fixation to bone. Specifically Eurocoating has developed processes to enable direct bone apposition onto PEEK and CFR-PEEK components by coating the polymer with either Titanium or/and Hydroxyapatite. Coating processes were developed to maintain key chemical - physical and mechanical features in the hosting PEEK polymer. PEEK Coating processes are currently exploited for commercial production of orthopaedic and spinal implantable components.