Low-energy plasma spray (LEPS) deposition of hydroxyapatite/poly-e-caprolactone biocomposite coatings

D. Garcia - Alonso, M. Parco, J. Stokes, L. Looney

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7 Citations (Scopus)
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Thermal spraying is widely employed to deposit hydroxyapatite (HA) and HA-based biocomposites on hip and dental implants. For thick HA coatings (>150 µm), problems are generally associated with the build-up of residual stresses and lack of control of coating crystallinity. HA/polymer composite coatings are especially interesting to improve the pure HA coatings' mechanical properties. For instance, the polymer may help in releasing the residual stresses in the thick HA coatings. In addition, the selection of a bioresorbable polymer may enhance the coatings' biological behavior. However, there are major challenges associated with spraying ceramic and polymeric materials together because of their very different thermal properties. In this study, pure HA and HA/poly-e-caprolactone (PCL) thick coatings were deposited without significant thermal degradation by low-energy plasma spraying (LEPS). PCL has never been processed by thermal spraying, and its processing is a major achievement of this study. The influence of selected process parameters on microstructure, composition, and mechanical properties of HA and HA/PCL coatings was studied using statistical design of experiments (DOE). The HA deposition rate was significantly increased by the addition of PCL. The average porosity of biocomposite coatings was slightly increased, while retaining or even improving in some cases their fracture toughness and microhardness. Surface roughness of biocomposites was enhanced compared with HA pure coatings. Cell culture experiments showed that murine osteoblast-like cells attach and proliferate well on HA/PCL biocomposite deposits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-134
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Thermal Spray Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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