Wear reduction effect on ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene by application of hard coatings and ion implantation on cobalt chromium alloy, as measured in a knee wear simulation machine
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TiN and DLC coatings
Nitrogen ion implantation
Knee wear simulation machine
Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE)
The most important factor affecting performance and longevity of hip joint and knee implants is the wear rate of the ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) component. UHMWPE wear debris has been linked to complications including tissue inflammation, bone loss (osteolysis) and implant loosening. Reduction of debris has been addressed by investigating new polyethylene formulations, manufacturing and finishing processes, including surface treatments and coatings both on plastic and metallic components. There have been many studies on the effect of surface treatments and hard coatings on cobalt chromium and titanium alloys for prosthetic applications. However, most of them have used laboratory tribo-testers without much correlation to articulating movements in human joints. In this work, hard coatings (TiN and DLC) and surface treatments (nitrogen ion implantation) have been investigated as potential candidates to reduce wear of UHMWPE, when applied on the counter face cobalt ...