polymer bearings involving polyetheretherketone
APPLICATIONS AND BACKGROUND
All-polymer bearings involving polyetheretherketone (PEEK) have been proposed for orthopaedic applications because they may reduce stress shielding, reduce weight of the implants, reduce wear and risk of osteolysis, and prevent release of metal ions by replacing the metal articulating components. Little is known about the biotribology of all-polymer PEEK bearings, including the effects of cross-shear, which are relevant for implant longevity, especially in the hip, and increased temperature that may affect lubricant proteins and, hence, lubrication in the joint.
QUESTIONS/PURPOSES about using pin-on-disk in vitro testing:
- (1) Can all-polymer bearing couples involving PEEK have a comparable or lower wear rate than highly crosslinked UHMWPE (HXLPE) on CoCr bearing couples?
- (2) Is the wear rate of PEEK bearing couples affected by the amount of cross-shear?
- (3) Is there a difference in wear mechanism and surface morphology for all-polymer bearing surfaces compared with UHMWPE (HXLPE) on CoCr?