Differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells on plasma-treated polyetheretherketone

  • Jasmin Waser-Althaus
  • Achim Salamon
  • Marcus Waser
  • Celestino Padeste
  • Michael Kreutzer
  • Uwe Pieles
  • Bert Müller
  • Kirsten Peters


Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) generally exhibits physical and chemical characteristics that prevent osseointegration. To activate the PEEK surface, we applied oxygen and ammonia plasma treatments. These treatments resulted in surface modifications, leading to changes in nanostructure, contact angle, electrochemical properties and protein adhesion in a plasma power and process gas dependent way. To evaluate the effect of the plasma-induced PEEK modifications on stem cell adhesion and differentiation, adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (adMSC) were seeded on PEEK specimens. We demonstrated an increased adhesion, proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation of adMSC in contact to plasma-treated PEEK. In dependency on the process gas (oxygen or ammonia) and plasma power (between 10 and 200 W for 5 min), varying degrees of osteogenic differentiation were induced. When adMSC were grown on 10 and 50 W oxygen and ammonia plasma-treated PEEK substrates they exhibited a doubled mineralization degree relative to the original PEEK. Thus plasma treatment of PEEK specimens induced changes in surface chemistry and topography and supported osteogenic differentiation of adMSC in vitro. Therefore plasma treated PEEK holds perspective for contributing to osseointegration of dental and orthopedic load-bearing PEEK implants in vivo.


Contact Angle Plasma Treatment Oxygen Plasma Plasma Power Oxygen Plasma Treatment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was funded by the Swiss Nanoscience Institute (project 6.2), the Rector’s Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS) and the Federal State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. The authors thank Stefanie Adam (Department of Cell Biology, Rostock University Medical Center, Germany) for her excellent technical assistance and Dr. med. habil. Jürgen Weber (Ästhetikklinik Rostock, Germany) for providing liposuction tissue. Further acknowledgements go to Prof. Dr. Dieter Scharnweber (Technical University Dresden, Germany) and Anja Caspari (Leibnitz Institute for Polymer Research, Dresden, Germany) for support with the zeta-potential measurements and to Dr. Roman Heuberger (RMS Foundation, Bettlach, Switzerland) for the XPS measurements and related data analysis. We thank Victrex for kindly providing us with APTIV™ PEEK sheets.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jasmin Waser-Althaus
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Achim Salamon
    • 1
  • Marcus Waser
    • 3
  • Celestino Padeste
    • 4
  • Michael Kreutzer
    • 5
  • Uwe Pieles
    • 3
  • Bert Müller
    • 2
  • Kirsten Peters
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cell BiologyRostock University Medical CenterRostockGermany
  2. 2.Biomaterials Science CenterUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  3. 3.Institute for Chemistry and BioanalyticsUniversity of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern SwitzerlandMuttenzSwitzerland
  4. 4.Laboratory for Micro- and NanotechnologyPaul Scherrer InstitutVilligen PSISwitzerland
  5. 5.Center for Medical Research (ZEMFO)Rostock University Medical CenterRostockGermany

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