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Materials 2014, 7(6), 4367-4410; doi:10.3390/ma7064367

Bioceramics for Hip Joints: The Physical Chemistry Viewpoint

1
Ceramic Physics Laboratory, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Sakyo-ku, Matsugasaki, Kyoto 606-8126, Japan
2
Department of Orthopedic Research, Loma Linda University, 11406 Loma Linda Drive, Suite 606 Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA
3
The Center for Advanced Medical Engineering and Informatics, Osaka University, Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
4
Department of Molecular Cell Physiology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kamigyo-ku, 465 Kajii-cho, Kawaramachi dori, Kyoto 602-0841, Japan 
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 14 May 2014 / Accepted: 26 May 2014 / Published: 11 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ceramics for Healthcare 2013)
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Abstract

Which intrinsic biomaterial parameter governs and, if quantitatively monitored, could reveal to us the actual lifetime potential of advanced hip joint bearing materials? An answer to this crucial question is searched for in this paper, which identifies ceramic bearings as the most innovative biomaterials in hip arthroplasty. It is shown that, if in vivo exposures comparable to human lifetimes are actually searched for, then fundamental issues should lie in the physical chemistry aspects of biomaterial surfaces. Besides searching for improvements in the phenomenological response of biomaterials to engineering protocols, hip joint components should also be designed to satisfy precise stability requirements in the stoichiometric behavior of their surfaces when exposed to extreme chemical and micromechanical conditions. New spectroscopic protocols have enabled us to visualize surface stoichiometry at the molecular scale, which is shown to be the key for assessing bioceramics with elongated lifetimes with respect to the primitive alumina biomaterials used in the past.
Keywords: hip joint; ceramics; oxygen vacancy; alumina-zirconia composites; silicon nitride; cathodoluminescence spectroscopy hip joint; ceramics; oxygen vacancy; alumina-zirconia composites; silicon nitride; cathodoluminescence spectroscopy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Pezzotti, G. Bioceramics for Hip Joints: The Physical Chemistry Viewpoint. Materials 2014, 7, 4367-4410.

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