Soft layered concept in the design of metacarpophalangeal joint replacement implants

T Pylios, Duncan Shepherd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint is crucial for hand function, but the joints are frequently affected by arthritis, leading to pain and disability. Joint replacement implants are used to replace the diseased MCP joint. This paper presents an investigation of applying the soft layered concept in the design of a new MCP joint replacement implant. Analytical methods were used to investigate the minimum film thickness for a novel MCP joint with a soft layer. The effect of load, entraining velocity, radial clearance, radius of the metacarpal head, elastic modulus and thickness of the soft layer were investigated. The soft layered joints show an enhanced predicted film thickness and some evidence of fluid film lubrication that should help to reduce wear rates. It may be beneficial for future MCP joint implant designs to utilise the soft layered joint concept.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-82
Number of pages10
JournalBio-Medical Materials and Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2008


  • joint replacement
  • soft layered joints
  • arthritis
  • metacarpophalangeal joint
  • lubrication analysis


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