Effect of gamma irradiation on wear characteristics of UHMWPE for joint prostheses

Takanori Sawano, Teruo Murakami, Yoshinori Sawae

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is widely used as a rubbing material for clinical applications in total joint prostheses. Generally, total joint prostheses are sterilized by gamma irradiation. Gamma ray ordinarily does not change the properties of ceramic and metal material, but it is well known that UHMWPE has high sensitivities to gamma irradiation. Gamma irradiation causes crosslinking of UHMWPE, which changes its property from original one. This work shows that gamma irradiation has remarkable effects on the reduction of UHMWPE wear. Gamma irradiation is very useful for reduction of UHMWPE wear. In this experiment, medium gamma irradiation is enough to reduce UHMWPE wear. However, gamma irradiation causes reduction in tensile strength and elongation of UHMWPE. Therefore, we found that optimum point of dose to prevent reduction of mechanical properties and reduce wear. Additionally, we also indicate the wear reduction mechanism of crosslinked UHMWPE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1760-1765
Number of pages6
JournalNihon Kikai Gakkai Ronbunshu, C Hen/Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Part C
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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