Abstract

Cold Gas Spray (CGS) technology has allowed the development of biofunctional composite coatings composed of 45S5 and Polyetheretherketone (PEEK). The combination of a bioactive glass material embedded in a biocompatible polymeric matrix becomes this new composite in an interesting material for orthopedic applications since meet the biomechanical and biological requirements of an artificial implant. In the present study; blends of bioactive glass 45S5 and PEEK powder with different granulometry and 45S5/PEEK ratio have been prepared. These mixtures of powders have been deposited onto PEEK substrates by CGS with the goal of incorporating a bioactive additive to the biocompatible polymer; which can improve the bone-implant interaction of PEEK. The deposition efficiency (DE) and thickness of the coatings have been evaluated and from the results obtained; it was possible to conclude that DE and coating thickness are significantly affected by the granulometry and by the 45S5/PEEK ratio of the blends. By Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) inspection; it was observed that the use of blends with high 45S5/PEEK ratio lead to the deposition of coatings with high content of 45S5 particles embedded in the polymeric matrix. Finally; the friction behavior of the coatings was analyzed performing ball-on-disk tests and these experiments showed that the presence of glass particles has a beneficial role in the wear resistance of the coatings.

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