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J Biomech. 2010 Jun 18;43(9):1674-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2010.03.003.

Cross-shear implementation in sliding-distance-coupled finite element analysis of wear in metal-on-polyethylene total joint arthroplasty: intervertebral total disc replacement as an illustrative application.

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Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


Computational simulations of wear of orthopaedic total joint replacement implants have proven to valuably complement laboratory physical simulators, for pre-clinical estimation of abrasive/adhesive wear propensity. This class of numerical formulations has primarily involved implementation of the Archard/Lancaster relationship, with local wear computed as the product of (finite element) contact stress, sliding speed, and a bearing-couple-dependent wear factor. The present study introduces an augmentation, whereby the influence of interface cross-shearing motion transverse to the prevailing molecular orientation of the polyethylene articular surface is taken into account in assigning the instantaneous local wear factor. The formulation augment is implemented within a widely utilized commercial finite element software environment (ABAQUS). Using a contemporary metal-on-polyethylene total disc replacement (ProDisc-L) as an illustrative implant, physically validated computational results are presented to document the role of cross-shearing effects in alternative laboratory consensus testing protocols. Going forward, this formulation permits systematically accounting for cross-shear effects in parametric computational wear studies of metal-on-polyethylene joint replacements, heretofore a substantial limitation of such analyses.

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