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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 67

Polyetheretherketone in three-dimensional printing

Department of Orthopaedics, Government Medical College, Haldwani, Uttarakhand, India

Date of Submission15-Jul-2018
Date of Acceptance10-Sep-2018
Date of Web Publication28-Sep-2018

Correspondence Address:
Ganesh Singh Dharmshaktu
Department of Orthopaedics, Government Medical College, Haldwani - 263 139, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ts.ts_9_18

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How to cite this article:
Dharmshaktu GS. Polyetheretherketone in three-dimensional printing. Transl Surg 2018;3:67

How to cite this URL:
Dharmshaktu GS. Polyetheretherketone in three-dimensional printing. Transl Surg [serial online] 2018 [cited 2020 Feb 28];3:67. Available from: http://www.translsurg.com/text.asp?2018/3/3/67/242494

We read with interest an elaborate review “Medical application of polyether ether ketone” by Guo et al.[1] It has succinctly touched all key areas related to be revolutionized by polyetheretherketone (PEEK) material. Another very important enterprise that shall be benefited by this biomaterial of diverse usage is the area of three-dimensional (3-D) printing or additive manufacturing. 3-D printing is a current big idea whose time has come and its importance is set to grow by leaps and bounds according to expert opinions. 3-D printing for fabrication of anatomical models for teaching, preoperative planning, and custom-made implants and for development of patient-specific instrumentation is now a reality, and it is an emerging research field. Techniques such as fusion deposition modeling or fused filament fabrication have enabled successful use of PEEK in 3-D printing of vital orthopedic biomaterials.[2] One of the major advantages of PEEK's uses as orthopedic implants are lack of stress shielding. Coating the PEEK implant with silver nanoparticles has been attempted to manage infections by superior antibacterial effects.[3] These breakthroughs might revolutionize future management of implant-related infections. Lightweight and modules closer to native bone favors use of PEEK for various prosthesis like rib prosthesis that may be used as bone replacement following tumor resection.[4]

In a human study, periprosthetic synovial tissue around implants containing Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) or carbon fiber reinforced PEEK was obtained during a revision surgery, among which a different type of nonscattered conglomerates was observed without giant-cell reaction in PEEK biomaterial.[5] Most of the past studies are either in-vitro or in-vivo animal model studies assessing PEEK biocompatibility, barring only two human retrieval studies which have been systematically reviewed by Stratton-Powell et al.[6] They concluded that wear particles of PEEK were, in general, in phagocytozable range and their cytotoxicity was within the acceptable limits in comparison to UHMWPE. The authors also advocate for more future human retrieval studies and further characterization of particle properties for more comprehensive insight. As PEEK is bioinert and deficient in osteogenic properties on its own, research to increase its bioactivity is coming up with myriad innovations like coating with nano-sized hydroxyapatite.[7] More discoveries in this area are instrumental for better version of PEEK in future clinical application.

There is not much to write as of now about impact of PEEK on 3-D printing scenario, but ongoing researches indicate fruitful results in coming times. The future, however, holds the answers to the long-term behavior of PEEK in 3-D printing and their combination appears to be constructive, benefitting various surgical disciplines.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Guo YT, Chen SG, Wang J, Lu BH. Medical application of polyether ether ketone. Transl Surg 2018;3 (1):12-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
Honigmann P, Sharma N, Okolo B, Pepp U, Msallem B, Thieringer FM. Pateint-specific surgical implants made of 3D prined PEEK: Material, technology, and scope of surgical application. Biomed Res Int 2018;2018:4520636.  Back to cited text no. 2
Deng L, Deng Y, Xie K. AgNPs-decorated 3D printed PEEK implant for infection control and bone repair. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 2017;160:483-92.  Back to cited text no. 3
Kang J, Wang L, Yang C, Wang L, Yi C, He J, Li D. Custom design and biomechanical analysis of 3D-printed PEEK rib prostheses. Biomech Model Mechanobiol 2018;17 (4):1083-92.  Back to cited text no. 4
Paulus AC, Haßelt S, Jansson V, Guiera A, Neuhaus H, Grupp TM, Utzschneider S. Histopathological analysis of PEEK wear particle effect on synovial tissue of patients. Biomed Res Int 2016;2016:2198914.  Back to cited text no. 5
Stratton-Powell AA, Pasko KM, Brockett CL, Tipper JL. The biologic response to polyetheretherketone (PEEK) wear particles in total joint replacement: A systematic review. Clin Orthop Relat Res 2016;474 (11):2394-404.  Back to cited text no. 6
Johansson P, Jimbo R, Naito Y, Kjellin P, Currie F, Wennerberg A. Polyether ether ketone implants achieve increased bone fusion when coated with nano-sized hydroxyapatite: A histomorphometric study in rabbit bone. Int J Nanomedicine 2016;11:1435-42.  Back to cited text no. 7


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