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J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2003 Jun;14(6):503-10.

Calcium phosphate nucleation on surface-modified PTFE membranes.

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  • 1Centre for Instrumental and Developmental Chemistry, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane QLD 4001, Australia.


Highly porous PTFE membranes are currently being used in facial reconstructive surgery. The present study aims at improving this biomaterial through creating a more bioactive surface by introducing ionic groups onto the surface. The unmodified PTFE membrane does not induce inorganic growth after immersion in simulated body fluid (SBF) for up to 4 weeks. Copolymeric grafting with acrylic acid (AAc) by means of gamma irradiation and subsequent in vitro testing in SBF reveals that this copolymer initially acts as an ion-exchange material and subsequently induces growth of a calcium phosphate phase (Ca/P=2.7) when large amounts (15%) of pAAc are introduced onto the membrane surface. This copolymer is not expected to function well from a biomaterials perspective since SEM showed the pores on the surface to be partly blocked. In contrast, the surface of monoacryloxyethyl phosphate (MAEP)-modified samples is altered at a molecular level only. Yet the modified materials are able to induce calcium phosphate nucleation when the external surface coverage is 44% or above. The initial inorganic growth on these membranes in SBF has a (Ca+Mg)/P ratio of 1.1 (presumably Brushite or Monetite). The secondary growth, possibly calcium-deficient apatite or tricalcium phosphate, has a (Ca+Mg)/P ratio of 1.5. This result is a promising indicator of a bioactive biomaterial.

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