In vitro wear assessments of fixed and mobile UHMWPE total knee replacement

Saverio Affatato, Pierangiola Bracco, Alessandra Sudanese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work discusses the wear behaviour of two different ultra-high-molecular-weight-polyethylene tibial component designs. Mobile and fixed bearings were tested on a knee wear simulator for 5 million cycles using bovine calf serum as lubricant. We correlated the wear results with the chemical characterisation of the investigated materials: Fourier Transformed Infra Red Spectroscopy analyses, Differential Scanning Calorimetry and cross-link density measurements were used to assess the chemical features of this polyethylene. Mobile and fixed polyethylene inserts showed a different wear behaviour: the mobile designs components showed lower weight losses than the fixed components (109 ± 6 mg and 163 ± 80 mg, respectively). Significant statistical differences were observed in wear rate (P = 0.035, Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test for two samples). From a molecular point of view, typical radiation-induced oxidation profiles were observed in all the tested polyethylene samples, but the overall degradation was more significant in the fixed bearing inserts and this is likely to play a role on the wear performances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-51
Number of pages8
JournalMaterials and Design
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Crystallinity
  • Fixed TKR
  • FTIR analyses
  • Mobile TKR
  • Wear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Materials Science(all)


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