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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 616535, 5 pages
Research Article

Covalent Grafting of the RGD-Peptide onto Polyetheretherketone Surfaces via Schiff Base Formation

1I. Medical Department, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University, 55131 Mainz, Germany
2FZI, I. Med and Policlinic, Johannes Gutenberg University School of Medicine, Obere Zahlbacher Street 63, 55131 Mainz, Germany
3Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Johannes Gutenberg University School of Medicine, Langenbeckstraße 1, 55131 Mainz, Germany

Received 5 August 2013; Accepted 18 September 2013

Academic Editors: K.-G. Desai and Y. Kinoshita

Copyright © 2013 Marc Becker et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In recent years, the synthetic polymer polyetheretherketone (PEEK) has increasingly been used in a number of orthopedic implementations, due to its excellent mechanical properties, bioinertness, and chemical resistance. For in vivo applications, the surface of PEEK, which does not naturally support cell adhesion, has to be modified to improve tissue integration. In the present work we demonstrate a novel wet-chemical modification of PEEK to modify the surface, enabling the covalent grafting of the cell-adhesive RGD-peptide. Modification of the polymer surface was achieved via Schiff base formation using an aliphatic diamine and subsequent crosslinker-mediated immobilization of the peptide. In cell culture experiments with primary osteoblasts it was shown that the RGD-modified PEEK not only significantly promoted cellular adhesion but also strongly enhanced the proliferation of osteoblasts on the modified polymer surface.