Biotribology of HXLPE on PEAK Bearings
Little is known about the biotribology of all-polymer PEEK bearings!!
Researchers from Philadelphia simultaneously tested a total of 100 pin-on-disk couples (n = 10 per bearing couple) consisting of three traditional metal-on-UHMWPE and seven polymer-on-polymer bearings for 2 million cycles under physiologically relevant conditions per ASTM F732.
The combined wear
The combined wear rates of all-polymer bearing couples were not different than traditional bearing couples. The data suggest that all-polymer bearings, especially PEEK-on-HXLPE bearing couples, may represent a viable alternative to traditional bearings with respect to their wear performance.
The biological response of PEEK
Researchers from the University of Leeds performed a systematic review of the literature related to the biological response of PEEK wear particles. They found that wear particles produced by PEEK-based bearings were, in almost all cases, in the phagocytozable size range (0.1-10 microm). The studies that evaluated the biologic response to PEEK-based particles generally found cytotoxicity to be within acceptable limits relative to the UHMWPE control, but inconsistent when inflammatory cytokine release was considered.