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Wear tests of orthopaedic biopolymers with the biolubricant augmented by a visco-supplement

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Tom Joyce


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The lubricant in which both natural and replacement joints must operate is synovial fluid. In vitro wear tests of such prostheses and their biomaterials generally employ a lubricant based on bovine serum, as this contains proteins that have a critical impact in reproducing clinically valid wear rates in the laboratory. However, it is also recognised that bovine serum is not identical to synovial fluid, a key difference being that synovial fluid includes hyaluronic acid but bovine serum does not. Few clinically valid wear tests employing a lubricant that includes hyaluronic acid have been undertaken, and the results have been contradictory. To try and inform these results, a series of wear tests were undertaken using a clinically validated wear screening device to investigate the influence of the addition of hyaluronic acid to the lubricant on the wear rates on two orthopaedic biopolymers. When a clinically used hyaluronic acid solution, Ostenil®, was added to a dilute bovine serum lubricant, it was found that wear factors were not greatly changed compared with dilute bovine serum alone. Additional wear tests were undertaken with Ostenil® added to distilled water. Here, wear was much lower but not clinically valid as transfer films were formed on the test plates.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Joyce T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part J: Journal of Engineering Tribology

Year: 2009

Volume: 223

Issue: 3

Pages: 297-302

ISSN (print): 1350-6501

ISSN (electronic): 2041-305X

Publisher: Professional Engineering Publishing


DOI: 10.1243/13506501JET480


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