Orthopaedic Tribology (part 4): Wear test projects

We are engaged in publicly funded research to better understand the wear process of UHMWPE at both the micro-scale and nano-scale, in order to maximise the service life of the prosthesis. UHMWPE is known to undergo microstructural changes near the articulating surface during its implant life. We are investigating the extent of these changes, with respect to both linear reciprocating, and elliptical wear paths, under dynamic loading, using a combination of techniques such as Raman Spectroscopy and Scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

Wear testing rig designed and constructed at the University of Edinburgh.
Wear testing rig designed and constructed at the University of Edinburgh.
Wear testing rig designed and constructed at the University of Edinburgh.
Wear testing rig designed and constructed at the University of Edinburgh.
SEM image of the UHMWPE microstructure, etching reveals the crystalline lamellae.
SEM image of the UHMWPE microstructure, etching reveals the crystalline lamellae.