Poly(ether-ether-ketone) orthopedic bearing surface modified by self-initiated surface grafting of poly(2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine).

PMID 23891520


We investigated the production of free radicals on a poly(ether-ether-ketone) (PEEK) substrate under ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. The amount of the ketyl radicals produced from the benzophenone (BP) units in the PEEK molecular structure initially increased rapidly and then became almost constant. Our observations revealed that the BP units in PEEK acted as photoinitiators, and that it was possible to use them to control the graft polymerization of poly(2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine) (PMPC). This "self-initiated surface graft polymerization" method is very convenient in the absence of external photoinitiator. We also investigated the effects of the monomer concentration and UV irradiation time on the extent of the grafted PMPC layer. Furthermore, as an application to improving the durability of artificial hips, we demonstrated the nanometer-scale photoinduced grafting of PMPC onto PEEK and carbon fiber-reinforced PEEK (CFR-PEEK) orthopedic bearing surfaces and interfaces. A variety of test revealed significant improvements in the water wettability, frictional properties, and wear resistance of the surfaces and interfaces.