Mixed oxides prosthetic ceramic ball heads. Part 1: Effect of the ZrO2 fraction on the wear of ceramic on polyethylene joints

S. Affatato, M. Testoni, G. L. Cacciari, A. Toni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although mixed oxides ceramics have been indicated in the literature as a promising compromise between strength and wear, to the authors' knowledge no reports are available on the influence of the percentage of zirconia in ceramic femoral heads when sliding against polyethylene cups. Two types of mixed oxides ceramic ball heads (alumina plus, respectively, 60 and 80% of zirconia) were compared to pure zirconia and pure alumina heads in terms of wear behaviour against UHMWPE in a hip joint simulator. Polyethylene cups and ceramic femoral heads were fixed on a simulator apparatus with a sinusoidal movement and load in presence of bovine calf serum. The experimental results did not show significant difference between the two experimental ceramic materials or in comparison with pure materials. Considering that all specimens, regardless of the material, had the same level of surface roughness, this roughness factor seems to have a more relevant role than the mix of oxides used to manufacture the ceramic head. Wear tests are conducted on materials used in prosthetic hip implants in order to obtain quality control and to acquire further knowledge of the tribological processes that involve joint prostheses, therefore reducing the risk of implant failure of innovative prostheses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-975
Number of pages5
JournalBiomaterials
Volume20
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1999

Keywords

  • Alumina
  • Bovine calf serum
  • Mixed-oxide
  • Simulator
  • Zirconia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

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