Integrating Selective Powder Deposition and Fused Depositon Modeling Technology to Improve Hydrophilicity of Peek Implants

Project Details


In recent years, Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is a new implant material due to its high strength, high flexibility, corrosion resistance, and biocompatibility. However, PEEK is biologically inert that needs to be surface modified or made into a composite material to improve the hydrophilicity/bioactivity of PEEK. This project uses fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology to print PEEK implants. The rough, printed surface can increase cell adhesion. In combination with an innovative method called selective powder deposition (SPD), the surface modification of PEEK implants performs. Polylactic acid (PLA) has a boiling point of 230 °C, and PLA at 343 °C (the melting point of PEEK) will pyrolyze into gas. The SPD main process is: firstly, PLA pellets are mixed with a certain proportion of hydroxyapatite (HA) powder and then extruded into a filament. FDM technology is used to print on the outermost contour of each PEEK printed layer with this PLA-HA filament. Then, the PEEK nozzle moves in the same path. At this time, PLA will be pyrolyzed, and HA powder (melting point: 1100 °C) will be stuck in the PEEK melting strand which is subsequently extruded. In this way, the PEEK printed implants with HA powder embedded into the surface can improve their hydrophilicity, not reduce their mechanical properties, and no shedding problem occurs compared with general surface coatings.The research is planned for a two-year period. The first year focuses on constructing an FDM printer suitable for printing PEEK and performing the SDP method, and developing a process of extruding PEEK / PLA pellets with different proportions of HA powder into filaments. In the second year, the SPD method will implement, and test specimens with different proportions of HA powder will print. Finally, the Taguchi method will use to find the optimal process parameters with hydrophilicity (contact angle) as the objective function. It expects that after the execution of this research, the hydrophilicity of PEEK printed implants will improve by more than 30% and the HA powders will embed on the implant surface without falling off. Cell experiments can be further planned in the future to verify the bioactivity performance of PEEK-HA printed implants.
Effective start/end date1/08/2031/07/21

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Fused Deposition Modeling
  • Selective Powder Deposition
  • PEEK
  • Surface Modification
  • Implant


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