The effect of synthetic polymer lubricants on the friction between common arthroplasty bearing biomaterials for encapsulated spinal implants

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There are two major problems with ball and socket artificial joints; the migration of wear particles inducing an inflammatory response, causing toxicity, osteolysis and subsequent implant loosening; and the poor tribology between interstitial or synovial fluid and device׳s articulation surfaces. Experiments have been conducted to assess the potential of the promising bio-lubricant polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) at different concentrations with a range of materials (combinations of CoCr, UHMWPE and PEEK). Tests were conducted on a pin-on-disc tribometer and results were compared against Ringer׳s solution and bovine calf serum. The highest friction coefficient was for CoCr/CoCr for all lubricants. The lowest, and superlubricity was measured for UHMWPE/CoCr (a friction coefficient of 0.009) with 20 g/100 ml PVA (PVA-C).


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-25
JournalTribology International
Early online date17 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016