PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the bone formation capability of polyetheretherketone (PEEK) and carbon fiber-reinforced PEEK (CFR-PEEK) implants coated with different titanium and hydroxyapatite plasma-sprayed layers after 2 and 12 weeks.
METHODS: In six sheep 108 implants were placed in the pelvis. Altogether six different surface modifications were tested. After 2 and 12 weeks, n = 3 implants per group were examined histologically and n = 6 implants per group were tested by a pull-out test.
RESULTS: Biomechanically (p = 0.001) as well as histologically (p > 0.05) surface coating of PEEK/CFR-PEEK led to an increase of osseointegration from 2 to 12 weeks. After 12 weeks, coated implants demonstrated significant (p < 0.001) higher pull-out values in comparison to uncoated implants. Overall, the double coating (titanium bond layer and hydroxyapatite top layer) showed the most favorable results after 2 and 12 weeks.
CONCLUSIONS: Plasma-sprayed titanium and hydroxyapatite coatings on PEEK or CFR-PEEK demonstrated a significant improvement of osseointegration.