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Keywords:

  • polyethylene (UHMWPE);
  • joint replacement;
  • mechanical properties;
  • morphology

Abstract

Structure and properties of several ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylenes (UHMWPEs), which were crosslinked either by standard, single-step irradiation or by newer, several-step irradiation (sequential irradiation), were compared. To verify the results, the same characterization was carried out for commercially available UHMWPE liners made of sequentially irradiated polymer (X3™, Stryker, Mahwah, NJ) and one-step irradiated polymer (denoted as PE-IMC, produced by Beznoska, Kladno, Czech Republic). The structure was studied by a number of spectroscopic, diffraction, thermal, and microscopic methods. Mechanical properties were assessed by small-punch, microhardness and, wear testing. Our results suggested that sequential irradiation followed by annealing did not lead to unusual structure at the molecular or supermolecular level. Consequently, all measured mechanical properties, including wear resistance, were comparable with one-step irradiated UHMWPEs. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater 101B: 414–422, 2013.