The wear of tibial inserts in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) remains a major limitation of longevity. However, wear tests are expensive and time-consuming. Computational wear prediction using a finite-element (FE) model followed by validation through comparison with experimental data is effective for assessing new prosthetic designs or materials prior to functional testing and surgical implementation. In this study, the kinematics, volumetric wear, and wear depth of tibial inserts made of different materials (ultrahigh-molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), polyetheretherketone (PEEK), and carbon fiber-reinforced PEEK (CFR–PEEK)) in TKA were evaluated by employing FE models and analysis. The differences among the materials were evaluated using adaptive wear modeling to predict the wear depth, volumetric wear, and kinematics under a gait loading condition. The volumetric wear and wear depth of the CFR–PEEK decreased by 87.4% and 61.3%, respectively, compared with those of the UHMWPE, whereas the PEEK exhibited increased volumetric wear and wear depth. These results suggest that CFR–PEEK is a good alternative to UHMWPE as a promising and suitable material for tibial inserts used in TKA. However, orthopedic research should be performed to evaluate the threshold conditions and appropriate applications for the newly developed and introduced biomaterial.
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