Wear Particle Analyses - Test Methods

Overview

As well as determining the volumetric wear associated with prosthetics during wear testing it is also important to characterize the morphology of the particles produced. Wear particles can range in size and shape depending on the type of material used and implant design therefore different isolation techniques are required to separate ceramic, metallic and polyethylene particles.

Testing

Our state of the art Laboratory has the facility to collect and store the used Bovine serum in order to carry out particle isolation and characterization. Our wear tests are usually run for 5 Million cycles with standard inspections and fluid changes being carried out every 500,000 cycles or as requested by the client.

Isolation

With the use of our new healthcare lab and strict cleanliness protocols we have the ability to carry out particle isolation in the cleanest possible environment ensuring consistent and repeatable results every time. Digestion methods are used in conjunction with nano-filtration to isolate the wear particles from the used bovine serum. Our filtration apparatuses allow us to collect wear particles as small 0.05µm which are then analysed using Scanning Electron Microscopy.

Characterization

In order to monitor the biological activity of wear debris produced by prosthetics the particles need to be characterized. By gold coating our filters prior to SEM analyses we are able to achieve high quality images with well defined particle boundaries. Working in conjunction with our Surface Science department here at Lucideon we can characterize the size, shape and distribution of each particle giving the best results possible.

Related Standards

ISO 17853: Wear of implant materials — Polymer and metal wear particles — Isolation, characterization and quantification.

ASTM F1877: Standard Practice for Characterization of Particles.

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