The objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of third-body particles on the in vitro wear behaviour of three different sets of polyethylene acetabular cups after prolonged testing in a hip simulator and accelerated ageing. Vitamin E-blended, cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE_VE), cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) and conventional polyethylene (STD_PE) acetabular cups were simulator tested for two million cycles under severe conditions (i.e. by adding third-body particles to the bovine calf serum lubricant). Micro-Fourier Transform Infrared and micro Raman spectroscopic analyses, differential scanning calorimetry, and crosslink density measurements were used to characterize the samples at a molecular level.The STD_PE cups had twice mass loss than the XLPE_VE components and four times than the XLPE samples; statistically significant differences were found between the mass losses of the three sets of cups. The observed wear trend was justified on the basis of the differences in cross-link density among the samples (XLPE>XLPE_VE>STD_PE).FTIR crystallinity profiles, bulk DSC crystallinity and surface micro-Raman crystallinity seemed to have a similar behaviour upon testing: all of them (as well as the all-trans and orthotrans contents) revealed the most significant changes in XLPE and XLPE_VE samples. The more severe third-body wear testing conditions determined more noticeable changes in all spectroscopic markers with respect to previous tests. Unexpectedly, traces of bulk oxidation were found in both STD_PE (unirradiated) and XLPE (remelting-stabilized), which were expected to be stable to oxidation; on the contrary, XLPE_VE demonstrated a high oxidative stability in the present, highly demanding conditions. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Wear performance of neat and vitamin E blended highly cross-linked PE under severe conditions: The combined effect of accelerated ageing and third body particles during wear test / Affatato, Saverio; De Mattia, Jonathan Salvatore; Bracco, Pierangiola; Pavoni, Eleonora; Taddei, Paola. - In: JOURNAL OF THE MECHANICAL BEHAVIOR OF BIOMEDICAL MATERIALS. - ISSN 1751-6161. - 64:(2016), pp. 240-252. [10.1016/j.jmbbm.2016.08.003]