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3D Printing of Design-specific PEEK-based Standalone Bioactive Implants

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Conference Abstract: Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is a high-performance polymer for developing implants. However, the major limitation of PEEK implants is their bioinertness. In this study, we engineered a novel bioceramic known as amorphous magnesium phosphate (AMP), which surpasses the bioactivity and biodegradation kinetics of calcium phosphates. Subsequently, we incorporated AMP in PEEK to develop a unique PEEK-AMP bioactive composite in the form of uniform-diameter filaments, such that it can be used in a Fused Filament Fabrication setup to develop design-specific implants. Our results indicate that controlling extrusion parameters such as temperature, screw speed, tension, and cooling rate is
essential to extruding uniform-diameter filaments. Importantly, high-temperature 3D printed PEEK-AMP composites exhibited a yield Strength of 89 MPa and Young's Modulus of 3.5 GPa, confirming that AMP incorporation in PEEK does not deteriorate the inherent properties of PEEK. Moreover, we prove that 3D Printing can manufacture mechanically-robust PEEK-AMP structures comparable to machined ones.