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    Wear and Degradation of Retrieved Ultrahigh Molecular Weight Polyethylene and Other Polymeric Implants

    Published: 01 October 1979

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    The statistics regarding the number of autopsies containing associated implants on the pathology service at the University Hospitals of Case Western Reserve University are presented. The objectives of the Pathology Department's retrieval and analysis program are presented, and the special methods used for analyzing the tissue and implant responses are described. Examples of wear and degradation of the polymeric components which have been analyzed are presented. Silicone rubber poppet occluders which demonstrate abrasive wear are discussed, and the tissue response to wear particles incorporated in the liver is documented. Silicone fluid in the fibrous capsule from a gelfilled breast prosthesis is analyzed. Analyses of degraded and worn ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) joint components by thin-section optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and xylene extraction techniques are presented. The principal wear mechanisms are abrasive wear and cracking between the incompletely sintered UHMWPE powder.


    implant materials, implants, polymers, retrieval, analysis, wear, degradation, joints, valves, breast

    Author Information:

    Gibbons, DF
    Professor of biomedical engineering and pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

    Anderson, JM
    Assistant professor of macromolecular science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

    Martin, RL
    Assistant professor of pathology, University of Southern Florida, Tampa, Fla

    Nelson, T
    Graduate student, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

    Committee/Subcommittee: F04.19

    DOI: 10.1520/STP35935S