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Open Biomed Eng J. 2010 Jun 10;4:107-12. doi: 10.2174/1874120701004010107.

Macrophage Response to UHMWPE Submitted to Accelerated Ageing in Hydrogen Peroxide.

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  • 1Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Laboratory of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Av. Antônio Carlos, 6627, 31.270-901, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.


Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) has been the most commonly used bearing material in total joint arthroplasty. Wear and oxidation fatigue resistance of UHMWPE are regarded as two important properties to extend the longevity of knee prostheses. The present study investigated the accelerated ageing of UHMWPE in hydrogen peroxide highly oxidative chemical environment. The sliced samples of UHMWPE were oxidized in a hydrogen peroxide solution for 120 days with their total level of oxidation (Iox) characterized by Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). The potential inflammatory response, cell viability and biocompatibility of such oxidized UHMWPE systems were assessed by a novel biological in vitro assay based on the secretion of nitric oxide (NO) by activated murine macrophages with gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) cytokine and lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Furthermore, macrophage morphologies in contact with UHMWPE oxidized surfaces were analyzed by cell spreading-adhesion procedure using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results have given significant evidence that the longer the period of accelerated aging of UHMWPE the higher was the macrophage inflammatory equivalent response based on NO secretion analysis.


UHMWPE; accelerated aging.; macrophage response; polymer oxidation; prosthesis

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