Effect of head surface roughness and sterilization on wear of UHMWPE acetabular cups

A. Jedenmalm, S. Affatato, P. Taddei, W. Leardini, U. W. Gedde, C. Fagnano, M. Viceconti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The impact of femoral head surface roughness on wear of γ-irradiation sterilized (3 MRad in nitrogen, crosslinked) and nonsterilized (not crosslinked) UHMWPE acetabular cups has been evaluated. Gravimetric wear testing was performed in a hip joint simulator for 2 × 106 cycles. CoCrMo heads were used with different surface roughness (Ra = 15 nm and Ra = 400 nm). The surface roughness after wear test was unchanged for the roughened heads, whereas the initially smooth heads showed a few scratches. The roughened heads increased the wear of the acetabular cups 2-fold. The γ-irradiated cups tested against rough heads underwent the highest wear. The absorption of water was highest for the γ-irradiated cups (0.0204% compared to 0.0031% after 85 days). Raman spectroscopy showed small but significant crystallinity changes in the wear zone, where the γ-irradiated cups with the most extensive abrasion increased in crystallinity, whereas the nonsterilized cups underwent a crystallinity decrease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1032-1042
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 15 2009


  • Crystallinity
  • Gamma-irradiation
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Roughness
  • UHMWPE acetabular cups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Metals and Alloys


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