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Mechanical properties of hydroxyapatite whisker reinforced polyetherketoneketone composite scaffolds

Authors
Journal
Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
1751-6161
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
2
Issue
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2009.07.002

Abstract

Abstract The apparent mechanical properties of hydroxyapatite (HA) whisker reinforced polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) scaffolds were evaluated in unconfined, uniaxial compression to investigate the effects of the porosity (75%, 82.5% and 90%), HA content (0, 20 and 40 vol%) and mold temperature (350, 365 and 375 ∘C). Increased porosity resulted in a non-linear decrease in the elastic modulus and yield strength for both reinforced and unreinforced PEKK scaffolds, as expected. The increase in elastic modulus and yield strength with increased relative density followed a power-law, similar to trabecular bone and other open-cell foams. HA whisker reinforcement generally resulted in an increased elastic modulus from 0 to 20 vol% HA and a subsequent decrease from 20 to 40 vol% HA, while the yield strength and strain were decreased in scaffolds with 40 vol% HA compared to those with 0 or 20 vol% HA. Increased mold temperature resulted in an increased elastic modulus, yield strength and yield strain. These effects enabled the mechanical properties to be tailored to mimic human trabecular bone. The elastic modulus was greater than 50 MPa, and the yield strength was greater than 0.5 MPa, for scaffolds with 75% porosity at all combinations of reinforcement level and mold temperature. Scaffolds with 75% porosity and 20 vol% HA molded at 375 ∘C exhibited a mean elastic modulus and yield strength of 149 MPa and 2.2 MPa, respectively, which was the highest of the conditions investigated in this study and similar to human vertebral trabecular bone. Therefore, HA whisker reinforced PEKK scaffolds may be advantageous for permanent implant fixation, including interbody spinal fusion.

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