Chemical, microscopic, and microbiological analysis of a functionalized poly-ether-ether-ketone-embedding antibiofilm compounds

Juan F.D. Montero, Luiz C.A. Barbosa, Ulisses A. Pereira, Guilherme M. Barra, Márcio C. Fredel, Cesar A.M. Benfatti, Ricardo S. Magini, Andréa L. Pimenta, Júlio C.M. Souza*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Poly-ether-ether-ketone (PEEK) is currently introduced as an alternative material for orthopedic implants due to its biocompatibility and low elastic modulus compared to titanium. Also, a sulphonation treatment can functionalize PEEK to embed therapeutical substances. The objective of this work was to functionalize a PEEK film to incorporate novel lactam-based antibiofilms compounds. PEEK samples were functionalized by sulphuric acid treatment and then dissolved in dimethylsulfoxide, where lactams were added to be incorporated into the polymer. A dip-coating technique was used to synthesize a thin film on a glass-based substrate. The degree of sulfonation (DS) and the incorporation of lactams into sulphonated PEEK (sPEEK) were analyzed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and scanning electron microscopy. A DS of 65% was obtained and TGA curves confirmed the presence of SO3H and lactams in the sPEEK structure. The growth of Streptococcus mutans biofilm decreased on sPEEK surface containing lactams when compared to sPEEK free of lactams. That indicated the antibiofilm activity of those compounds was maintained after incorporation into sPEEK. Planktonic growth analysis showed no long distant effects of sPEEK containing lactams, indicating that no systemic effects should be expected upon clinical uses of medical devices produced with lactam-treated sPEEK. Results revealed that inclusion of lactams into sPEEK represents a good alternative for the production of biomaterials resistant to bacterial accumulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3015-3020
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • biofilm
  • biofilm inhibition
  • lactam
  • PEEK
  • rubrolide derivatives
  • sPEEK
  • Streptococcus mutans


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