Enhanced Bioactivity of Micropatterned Hydroxyapatite Embedded Poly(L-lactic) Acid for a Load-Bearing Implant
Poly(L-lactic) acid (PLLA) is among the most promising polymers for bone fixation, repair, and tissue engineering due to its biodegradability and relatively good mechanical strength. Despite these beneficial characteristics, its poor bioactivity often requires incorporation of bioactive ceramic materials. A bioresorbable composite made of PLLA and hydroxyapatite (HA) may improve biocompatibility but typically causes deterioration in mechanical properties, and bioactive coatings inevitably carry a risk of coating delamination. Therefore, in this study, we embedded micropatterned HA on the surface of PLLA to improve bioactivity while eliminating the risk of HA delamination. An HA pattern was successfully embedded in a PLLA matrix without degeneration of the matrix&rsquo;s mechanical properties, thanks to a transfer technique involving conversion of Mg to HA. Furthermore, patterned HA/PLLA&rsquo;s biological response outperformed that of pure PLLA. These results confirm patterned HA/PLLA as a candidate for wide acceptance in biodegradable load-bearing implant applications.