Pulsed plasma deposition of zirconia thin films on UHMWPE: Proof of concept of a novel approach for joint prosthetic implants

Michele Bianchi, Alessandro Russo, Nicola Lopomo, Marco Boi, Maria Cristina Maltarello, Simone Sprio, Matteo Baracchi, Maurilio Marcacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Wear of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) has been recognized as the main cause for long-term revision in joint arthroplasty. A new approach to overcome this detrimental issue is here presented: zirconia (ZrO2) thin films were directly deposited onto the surface of UHMWPE by Pulsed Plasma Deposition (PPD) technique. The obtained films were structurally, morphologically and mechanically characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and nanoindentation tests, respectively. The critical fracture load was estimated by the analysis of the indenter footprints, while the adhesion degree was evaluated by a cross-cut tape test. Zirconia films exhibited a fully cubic structure, with densely packed grains, whereas mechanical tests showed that hard, tough and well-adherent films were deposited. These preliminary results suggested the feasibility of pursuing this alternative route to improve UHMPWE performances while preserving its well-established mechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-318
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry B
Volume1
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 21 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

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