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Keywords:

  • hip replacement;
  • wear;
  • friction;
  • carbon fiber-reinforced PEEK

Abstract

Total hip replacement has been a successful surgical intervention for over 50 years, with the majority of bearings using a polyethylene cup. Long-term failure due to osteolysis and loosening has been widely documented and alternative bearings have been sought. A novel carbon fiber-reinforced poly-ether ether ketone (CFR-PEEK) cup was investigated through experimental friction and wear studies. Friction studies demonstrated the bearings operated in a boundary lubrication condition, with friction factors higher than those for other hip replacement bearings. The wear study was conducted with 36 mm diameter bearings tested against Biolox Delta heads for a period of 10 million cycles. The mean volumetric wear rate was 0.3 mm3/Mc, indicating the ceramic-on-CFR-PEEK bearing to be a very low wearing option for total hip replacement. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater 100B: 1459–1465, 2012.