Wear Behaviour and Wear Debris Characterization of UHMWPE on Alumina Ceramic, Stainless Steel, CoCrMo and Ti6Al4V Hip Prostheses in a Hip Joint Simulator
Ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) has been used in total hip replacement for the last three decades. Despite the advancements in prosthesis design, the wear of UHMWPE remains a serious clinical problem; the release of wear debris may induce osteolysis and implant loosening. Understanding of wear behavior and wear debris morphology of the polyethylene is essential to improve the reliability of hip joint implants. The investigation in this paper carried out wear simulation tests of UHMWPE on Al2O3, 316L stainless steel, CoCrMo alloy and Ti6Al4V alloy, respectively. The lubrication of plasma solution and bovine serum solution was presented in wear tests. The effect of motion and loading on the wear behavior and wear debris morphology, and the influence of femoral head material and assembly style were studied in order to obtain a better understanding of the morphology of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene wear particles. It is shown that the wear of UHMWPE acetabular cups against metal femoral heads was significantly higher than that against ceramic heads. The presence of protein in lubricant increases the wear of UHMWPE acetabular cups on Al2O3 heads. The wear rates of UHMWPE in multi-directional motion are approximately 2.5 times of those in uni-directional motion. The size distribution range of the UHMWPE debris particles for all head materials varies from submicron particles up to several hundreds micron. The size distribution range of wear debris particles is not directly related to wear resistance of UHMWPE, but significantly influenced by wear mechanisms. The UHMWPE debris particles produced in hip wear simulation tests are classified as round debris, flake-like debris and stick debris, which are closely related to the primary mechanisms of abrasive wear, adhesive wear and fatigue wear.
S. B. Wang et al., "Wear Behaviour and Wear Debris Characterization of UHMWPE on Alumina Ceramic, Stainless Steel, CoCrMo and Ti6Al4V Hip Prostheses in a Hip Joint Simulator", Journal of Biomimetics, Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Vol. 7, pp. 7-25, 2010