Wear tests of joint prostheses are usually performed using bovine calf serum. The results from different laboratories are hardly ever comparable as, for example, the protein concentration and the protein composition of the serum-based test liquids vary. In addition, the viscosity of these test liquids is similar to that of water and does not match the more viscous synovial fluid. The present work was aimed at developing a synthetic synovial fluid as an alternative to the existing test liquids. Improved consistency and reproducibility of results at a similar price were required. Hyaluronic acid (HA), the lyophilized proteins bovine serum albumin (BSA) and immunoglobulin G (IgG), the phospholipid lecithin (PL) and salts were applied in a stepwise approach to replace the actually used test liquid based on newborn calf serum. The in vitro
results obtained with ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) pins sliding against CoCrMo discs revealed that the developed synthetic synovial fluid fulfils the set requirements: increase of viscosity, reasonable cost, improved consistency and wear particles which resemble the ones found in vivo
. The developed synthetic synovial fluid with 3 g/L HA, 19 g/L BSA, 11 g/L IgG, 0.1 g/L PL and Ringer solution is a more realistic alternative to the used serum-based test liquid.
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