Periprosthetic Infection

Infection is a serious complication of implantable medical devices, including orthopedic implants fabricated from PEEK (Polyetheretherketone) and PEEK composites, which are increasingly being used for more spinal and orthopaedic devices. Attempts at different methods to modify PEEK to create an infection resistant material are being performed.  First, using silver composities of PEEK because silver ions are active against a wide range of bacteria and fungi and have a low-propensity for bacteria to develop a resistance.  We will try to discover and optimize the best method to reduce or irradicate bacterial attachment and biofilm development on PEEK surfaces. We are trying to develop the Drexel processing facilities to mold and analysis PEEK more efficiently and accurately.  Recently a method to characterize crystallinity levels in PEEK using specular reflectance FTIR has been developed, which has become and ASTM standard.