Wear Performance of 36mm Biolox® forte/delta Hip Combinations Compared in Simulated ‘Severe’ Micro-Separation Test Mode

  • Ian Clarke
  • D. Green
  • P. Williams
  • Giuseppe Pezzotti
  • T. Donaldson
Part of the Ceramics in Orthopaedics book series (CIO)


Ceramic-polyethylene (CPE) and ceramic-on-ceramic (COC) total hip replacements (THR) have now been in use for 37 years (Table 1). Alumina was the first ceramic considered for hip-bearings by virtue of its extreme wear-resistance and bio-inertness (Table 2). The second ceramic type coming into the medical field by 1985 was the yttria-stabilized zirconia (Y-TZP) with fracture toughness and strength more than double that of alumina. However, this zirconia revealed an enigmatic clinical history with an uncertain risk due to its ‘metastable’ characteristics, i.e. under certain conditions the Y-TZP could undergo adverse phase changes (Clarke et al, 2003). An unfortunate manufacturing change by one company produced very high fracture rates in one brand of Y-TZP and this was abandoned circa 2000–2001 (Table 1). The third ceramic type coming into the market was a composite of alumina and zirconia (Table 1: trade name BIOLOX-delta™). This alumina-matrix composite (AMC) virtually doubled the strength and future toughness of the pure alumina. BIOLOX-delta™ was introduced to the marketplace in the year 2000 (Willmann, 2000). Another ceramic innovation was the 36mm alumina femoral head, introduced to the US in 1997 (Table 2: Wright Medical Inc).


Monoclinic Phase Frictional Heating Tetragonal Zirconia Ceramic Bearing Stripe Wear 
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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Clarke
    • 1
  • D. Green
  • P. Williams
  • Giuseppe Pezzotti
    • 2
  • T. Donaldson
  1. 1.LLU Orthopedic Research Center Dept of OrthopedicsLoma Linda University Medical CenterLoma LindaUSA
  2. 2.Ceramics Physics Laboratory & Research Institute for NanoscienceKyoto Institute of TechnologyKyotoJapan

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