Schematic illustration of the formation mechanism of nanopores with TiO2 walls.
Schematic illustration of the formation mechanism of nanopores with TiO2 walls.

Implantable materials are becoming more and more popular as an alternative to substituting defective parts of the body, areas such as hip replacements and dentistry are particularly popular areas for such materials.

It is not always possible to replace defective or wounded areas of the body with transplants this is why implantable materials are seen as a viable alternative.

Biomaterials are the basis of implantable materials and as research progresses more and more exotic forms of fibrous materials are being developed to improve properties and function.

In the area of hip replacements for example, the area scientists are particularly concerned with are mechanical properties where patients suffering osteoarthritis face persistent pain or problems everyday through activities such as walking, driving, or simply getting dressed. Recently metal on metal replacements have been seen to wear quicker than would be expected (15 years) which causes further degradation of the bone and tissue around the hip, there are also concerns that these metal replacements could leak small traces of metal into the bloodstream.

As an implantable material, carbon-fibre reinforced polyetheretherketone (CFRPEEK) possesses properties similar to that of cortical bone and is of particular interest for scientists looking for replacements to metallic implants, [Lu et al. Biomaterials, 35, (2014), 5731-5740, DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.04.003 ].

Poor osteogenic properties of CFRPEEK have limited the use of the material in the past, however recent multilevel surface engineering of the material provide renewed hope in the application of CFRPEEK to many orthopedic and dental applications giving renewed hope to many patients suffering chronic pain due to osteoarthritis and related conditions.

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