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PLoS One. 2017 Jan 20;12(1):e0170263. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170263. eCollection 2017.

Micro X-Ray Computed Tomography Mass Loss Assessment of Different UHMWPE: A Hip Joint Simulator Study on Standard vs. Cross-Linked Polyethylene.

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Medical Technology Laboratory, Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, Bologna-Italy.
Department of Management and Engineering, University of Padova, Vicenza-Italy.


More than 60.000 hip arthroplasty are performed every year in Italy. Although Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight-Polyethylene remains the most used material as acetabular cup, wear of this material induces over time in vivo a foreign-body response and consequently osteolysis, pain, and the need of implant revision. Furthermore, oxidative wear of the polyethylene provoke several and severe failures. To solve these problems, highly cross-linked polyethylene and Vitamin-E-stabilized polyethylene were introduced in the last years. In in vitro experiments, various efforts have been made to compare the wear behavior of standard PE and vitamin-E infused liners. In this study we compared the in vitro wear behavior of two different configurations of cross-linked polyethylene (with and without the add of Vitamin E) vs. the standard polyethylene acetabular cups. The aim of the present study was to validate a micro X-ray computed tomography technique to assess the wear of different commercially available, polyethylene's acetabular cups after wear simulation; in particular, the gravimetric method was used to provide reference wear values. The agreement between the two methods is documented in this paper.

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