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Research Papers: Tribochemistry & Tribofilms

Investigation of Protein Adsorption Mechanism and Biotribological Properties at Simulated Stem-Cement Interface

[+] Author and Article Information
Hongyu Zhang

e-mail: zhanghyu@tsinghua.edu.cn

Shanhua Qian

State Key Laboratory of Tribology,
Department of Precision Instruments and Mechanology,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing, 100084, China

Yongling Huang

Jinghang Biomedicine Engineering Division,
Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Material,
Beijing, 100095, China

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Tribology Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Tribology. Manuscript received November 25, 2011; final manuscript received November 8, 2012; published online April 29, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Zhong Min Jin.

J. Tribol 135(3), 032301 (Apr 29, 2013) (10 pages) Paper No: TRIB-11-1217; doi: 10.1115/1.4023802 History: Received November 25, 2011; Revised November 08, 2012

Debonding of the stem–cement interface occurs inevitably for almost all stem designs under physiological loading, and the wear debris generated at this interface is showing an increasing significance in contributing to the mechanical failure of cemented total hip replacements. However, the influence of protein adsorption onto the femoral stem and the bone cement surfaces has not been well taken into consideration across previous in vitro wear simulations. In the present study, the protein adsorption mechanism and biotribological properties at the stem-cement interface were investigated through a series of frictional tests using bone cements and femoral stems with two kinds of surface finishes, lubricated by calf serum at body temperature. The friction coefficient was dependent on the surface finish of the samples, with an initial much lower value obtained for the polished contacting pairs followed by a sudden increase in the friction coefficient with regard to the tests performed at higher frequencies. The friction coefficient did not change much during the tests for the glass-bead blasted contacting pairs. In addition, proteins from the calf serum were found to adsorb onto both the femoral stem and the bone cement surfaces, and the thickness of the physically adsorbed proteins on the polished metallic samples was more than 10 μm, which was measured using an optical interferometer and validated through a vertical scanning methodology based on Raman spectroscopy. An initial protein adsorption mechanism and biotribological properties at the stem-cement interface were examined in this study, and it suggested that wear at the stem-cement interface may be postponed or reduced by tailoring physicochemical properties of the femoral components to promote protein adsorption.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Equipment for the tribological experiment between simulated femoral stem and bone cement with a ball-on-flat configuration and temperature control: (1) heating rod; (2) thermocouple; (3) metallic pin and bone cement disk immersed in calf serum

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Fig. 2

The change of friction coefficient as a function of test duration for the four contacting pairs tested in the present study: (a) polished stainless steel 316L pin + smooth bone cement disk; (b) polished titanium alloy Ti6Al4V pin + smooth bone cement disk; (c) glass-bead blasted stainless steel 316L pin + rough bone cement disk and (d) glass-bead blasted titanium alloy Ti6Al4V pin + rough bone cement disk

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Fig. 3

The relationship between friction coefficient and sliding distance for the polished stainless steel 316L and titanium alloy Ti6Al4V pins contacting with the smooth bone cement disk, indicating the total sliding distance where a sudden increase in friction coefficient occurred

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Fig. 4

SEM micrographs demonstrating the contact area on the metallic samples following the tribological tests: (a) polished stainless steel 316L; (b) polished titanium alloy Ti6Al4V; (c) blasted stainless steel 316L and (d) blasted titanium alloy Ti6Al4V

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Fig. 5

(a) The SEM micrograph with an increased magnification showing the contact area on the polished titanium alloy Ti6Al4V pin from the test performed at 3.0 Hz and (b) the associated EDX analysis confirming the presence of adsorbed proteins on the surface

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Fig. 6

Characterization of the protein film adsorbed on the polished titanium alloy Ti6Al4V surface using Raman spectroscopy. The detection of amide III bands and amide I bands peaks could confirm the presence of protein film on the surface.

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Fig. 7

The thickness of adsorbed protein film measured by the microXAM-3D optical Interferometer: (a) polished stainless steel 316L pin tested at 3.0 Hz and (b) polished titanium alloy Ti6Al4V pin tested at 3.0 Hz

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Fig. 8

(a) Optical microscopic graph showing the presence of adsorbed protein film covering the original cement surface (the smooth bone cement disk contacting with the stainless steel 316L pins) and (b) the Raman signals obtained from the original cement surface (area A) and the protein film (area B)

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Fig. 9

SEM micrograph showing the contact area on the polished stainless steel 316L pin tested at 3.0 Hz

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Fig. 10

SEM micrographs demonstrating the contact area on the metallic samples, blasted titanium alloy Ti6Al4V pin contact with rough bone cement disk (load: 0.98 N, frequency: 1.0 Hz, duration: an hour): (a) dry friction (with bone cement transfer film) and (b) lubricated by saline solution

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Fig. 11

Characterization of the thickness of the adsorbed protein film through a vertical scanning methodology using Raman spectroscopy, the sample was polished stainless steel 316L pin tested at 3.0 Hz

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Fig. 12

(a) The change of friction coefficient as a function of test duration for the contact between polished stainless steel 316L pin and smooth bone cement disk under fretting mechanism and (b) SEM micrograph showing the contact area on the polished stainless steel 316L pin with the adsorption of protein film on the surface

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