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Lubricants 2016, 4(4), 35;

Silicon Nitride Bearings for Total Joint Arthroplasty

Amedica Corporation, 1885 West 2100 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84119, USA
Department of Orthopaedics, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA
Department of Molecular Cell Physiology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, 465 Kajii-cho, Kawaramachi-Hirokoji, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan
Ceramic Physics Laboratory, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Sakyo-ku, Matsugasaki, Kyoto 606-8126, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Thomas J. Joyce
Received: 8 July 2016 / Revised: 23 September 2016 / Accepted: 1 October 2016 / Published: 18 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wear Testing of Biomaterials)
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The articulation performance of silicon nitride against conventional and highly cross-linked polyethylene, as well as for self-mated silicon nitride bearings, was examined in a series of standard hip simulation studies. Wear rates for polyethylene liners against silicon nitride femoral heads were consistent with reported literature, although higher than cobalt chromium controls. Excessive protein precipitation was a confounding factor in interpretation of the wear data. Post wear-test Raman spectroscopy of the cross-linked polyethylene liners showed no oxidative degradation. Wear of self-mated silicon nitride was found to be essentially zero and indistinguishable from alumina controls using continuously orbital hip simulation for up to three million cycles. However, introduction of an alternative loading profile from three to five million cycles, including a stop-dwell-start sequence, significantly increased wear for two of six silicon nitride couples. This behavior is associated with formation and disruption of a gelatinous silicic acid tribochemical film, and is consistent with a recurrent transition from fluid-film to boundary lubrication. Overall, these results suggest that silicon nitride articulation against dissimilar counterface surfaces (e.g., highly cross-linked polyethylene) is preferred. View Full-Text
Keywords: silicon nitride; friction; wear; hip simulation; polyethylene; tribochemical film silicon nitride; friction; wear; hip simulation; polyethylene; tribochemical film

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McEntire, B.J.; Lakshminarayanan, R.; Ray, D.A.; Clarke, I.C.; Puppulin, L.; Pezzotti, G. Silicon Nitride Bearings for Total Joint Arthroplasty. Lubricants 2016, 4, 35.

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