To gain a better understanding of the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) wear mechanism in the physiological environment, the effects of protein and lipid constituents of synovial fluid on the specific wear rate of UHMWPE were examined experimentally. The multidirectional sliding pin-on-plate wear tester was employed to simulate the simplified sliding condition of hip joint prostheses. Bovine serum γ-globulin and synthetic l-α-DPPC were used as model protein and lipid constituents of synovia, respectively. Results of the wear test indicated that the UHMWPE wear rate primarily depended on the protein concentration of the test lubricant. Lipids acted as a boundary lubricant and reduced polyethylene wear in the low protein lubricants. However, the polyethylene wear rate increased with increasing lipid concentrations if the protein concentration was within the physiological level. Increased interactions between protein and lipid molecules and lipid diffusion to polyethylene surface might be responsible for the increased wear.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films