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Research Papers: Biotribology

Friction and Wear of Hemiarthroplasty Biomaterials in Reciprocating Sliding Contact With Articular Cartilage

[+] Author and Article Information
S. M. T. Chan

Center for Tissue Regeneration and Repair and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine,  University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA 95817

C. P. Neu1

Center for Tissue Regeneration and Repair and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine,  University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA 95817

K. Komvopoulos2

Fellow ASME, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering,  University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 e-mail: kyriakos@me.berkeley.eduCenter for Tissue Regeneration and Repair and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine,  University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA 95817

A. H. Reddi, P. E. Di Cesare

Fellow ASME, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering,  University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 e-mail: kyriakos@me.berkeley.eduCenter for Tissue Regeneration and Repair and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine,  University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA 95817

1

Present address: Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 47907.

2

Corresponding author.

J. Tribol 133(4), 041201 (Oct 10, 2011) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004760 History: Received December 29, 2010; Revised June 21, 2011; Published October 10, 2011; Online October 10, 2011

Friction and wear of four common orthopaedic biomaterials, alumina (Al2 O3 ), cobalt-chromium (CoCr), stainless steel (SS), and crosslinked ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), sliding against bovine articular cartilage explants were investigated by reciprocating sliding, nanoscale friction and roughness measurements, protein wear assays, and histology. Under the experimental conditions of the present study, CoCr yielded the largest increase in cartilage friction coefficient, largest amount of protein loss, and greatest change in nanoscale friction after sliding against cartilage. UHMWPE showed the lowest cartilage friction coefficient, least amount of protein loss, and insignificant changes in nanoscale friction after sliding. Although the results are specific to the testing protocol and surface roughness of the examined biomaterials, they indicate that CoCr tends to accelerate wear of cartilage, whereas the UHMWPE shows the best performance against cartilage. This study also shows that the surface characteristics of all biomaterials must be further improved to achieve the low friction coefficient of the cartilage/cartilage interface.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 3

Immunohistochemistry showed a lower SZP content at the articular cartilage surface sliding against CoCr and a higher surface content for that sliding against Al2 O3 , SS, and UHMWPE. The lower staining density of SZP at the articular surface slid against CoCr correlates with the higher friction coefficient at the CoCr/cartilage interface. The presence of SZP at the cartilage surface after sliding against different biomaterials for 60 min also corresponds to the low levels of SZP detected in wear debris, suggesting that other proteins were also removed from the surface during sliding.

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Figure 4

Friction coefficient and surface roughness of different biomaterials obtained before and after sliding against cartilage with an AFM. (a) The mean friction coefficients of Al2 O3 and CoCr decreased significantly after sliding against cartilage (a significance level of p < 0.05 is indicated by an asterisk). The mean friction coefficients of UHMWPE and SS also decreased after testing, but the changes were not significant. (b) The surface roughness of all biomaterial surfaces did not change significantly as a result of sliding against cartilage.

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Figure 1

(a) Friction coefficient of different biomaterials sliding against articular cartilage versus time of sliding showed a nonlinear increase in friction coefficient for all biomaterials. Each curve is an average of seven experiments. (b) Comparison of friction coefficients of different biomaterial/cartilage interfaces obtained at the start (1 min) and the end (60 min) of sliding. The highest and lowest friction coefficients were obtained with Al2 O3 and UHMWPE, respectively, while CoCr resulted in the largest increase in friction coefficient during testing. All groups were significantly different (p < 0.0083) from each other except for Al2 O3 and CoCr at the 60-min time point.

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Figure 2

Normalized wear of total protein and SZP from the articular cartilage surface due to sliding against different biomaterials. Differences among the four biomaterial/cartilage interfaces were statistically insignificant. The amount of worn SZP was multiplied by a factor of 100 to enhance the comparison with the total protein loss.

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