Effects of mobility/immobility of surface modification by 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine polymer on the durability of polyethylene for artificial joints



Surface modification is important for the improvement in medical device materials. 2-Methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) polymers have attracted considerable attention as surface modifiable polymers for several medical devices. In this study, we hypothesize that the structure of the surface modification layers might affect the long-term stability, hydration kinetics, wear resistance, and so forth, of medical devices such as artificial joints, and the poly(MPC) (PMPC) grafted surface might assure the long-term performance of such devices. Therefore, we investigate the surface properties of various surface modifications by using dip coatings of MPC-co-n-butyl methacrylate (PMB30) and MPC-co-3-methacryloxypropyl trimethoxysilane (PMSi90) polymers, or photoinduced radical grafting of PMPC and also the effects of the surface properties on the durability of cross-linked polyethylene (CLPE) for artificial joints. The PMPC-grafted CLPE has an extremely low and stable coefficient of dynamic friction and volumetric wear as compared to the untreated CLPE, PMB30-coated CLPE, and PMSi90-coated CLPE. It is concluded that the photoinduced radical graft polymerization of MPC is the best method to retain the benefits of the MPC polymer used in artificial joints under variable and multidirectional loads for long periods with strong bonding between the MPC polymer and the CLPE surface, and also to retain the high mobility of the MPC polymer. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res, 2009