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Combined wear and ageing of ceramic-on-ceramic bearings in total hip replacement under edge loading conditions

: Al-Hajjar, Mazen; Grémillard, Laurent; Begand, Sabine; Oberbach, Thomas; Hans, Karen; Delfosse, Daniel; Chêvalier, Jérôme; Jennings, Louise M.


Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials 98 (2019), S.40-47
ISSN: 1751-6161
ISSN: 1878-0180
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF (Deutschland)
Fraunhofer IKTS ()
influence of laser radiation on ceramic material; hip replacement; stripe wear; edge loading; hydrothermal ageing

Ceramic-on-ceramic bearings in total hip replacement have shown the potential to provide low wear solutions in hip replacement. Assessing the tribological performance of these materials is important to predict their long-term performance in patients. In this study, a methodology was devised to assess the tribological in vitro behaviour of composite ceramics under combined adverse edge loading conditions and accelerated ageing. Two commercial ceramic composites were considered, namely Alumina-Toughened Zirconia (ATZ, ceramys®) and Zirconia-Toughened Alumina (ZTA, symarec®). The bearing couples were studied using the Leeds Mark II hip joint simulator for a total of eight million cycles, the first two million under normal gait (no edge loading) and the following six million cycles with the addition of edge loading conditions driven by medial-lateral separation. The bearing couples underwent hydrothermal ageing using an accelerated protocol in autoclave every million cycles.
The influence of edge loading combined with ageing was significant for ATZ bearings, resulting in a slower overall ageing kinetics over the wear stripe than on the control heads. During the autoclave ageing steps, the monoclinic fraction increased more over the wear stripe area than over the unworn area. Both results thus indicated that the monoclinic phase was removed during shocks induced by edge loading. The wear performance of the two materials were similar exhibiting relatively low wear rates and low level of microstructural damage for these clinically relevant adverse conditions.