In vitro 3D Wear Characterization of Knee Joint Prostheses
Wear of knee joint prostheses represents a significant clinical problem. Wear characterization of knee inserts is the basis to acquire knowledge on the tribological phenomena during biomechanical contacts and to limit failures or malfunctions due to material loss. In this paper, the wear behavior of fixed total knee prostheses (TKPs) was examined by means of in vitro wear tests performed using a knee joint wear simulator and a 3D optical digitizer. The objective was to characterize the 3D wear distribution on these polyethylene tibial inserts in order to assess their wear resistance and prevent premature revision. The wear characterization and distribution were assessed by using a precise laboratory 3D scanner and a dedicated wear evaluation procedure, recently validated by means of gravimetric tests. Various sets of tibial inserts were worn out and reconstructed by the optical digitizer. The results provided both the wear rates, depths, and the quantification of the contact zone on the surface of total knee prostheses. This study presents an innovative wear assessment method for freeform biomedical prostheses and the results can be used as a basis to validate wear prediction models for human joint prostheses.
KeywordsWear Characterization 3D Wear Maps Knee Joint
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