Accelerated wear testing with a microfabricated surface to evaluate the lubrication ability of biomolecules on polyethylene

Hsu Wei Fang, Hsien Chieh Wang, Teh Hua Tsai, Wei Bor Tsai, Shao Yi Hou, Hsuan Liang Liu, Wun Hsing Lee, Yung Chang Lu, Chun Hsiung Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Wear of ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) and wear-particle-induced osteolysis and bone resorption are the major factors causing the failure of total joint replacements. It is feasible to improve the lubrication and reduce the wear of artificial joints. We need further understanding of the lubrication mechanism of the synovial fluid. The objective of this study is to evaluate the lubricating ability of three major components in the synovial fluid: albumin, globulin, and phospholipids. An accelerated wear testing procedure in which UHMWPE is rubbed against a microfabricated surface with controlled asperities has been developed to evaluate the lubrication behavior. An analysis of the wear particle dimensions and wear amount of the tests has provided insights for comparing their lubrication performance. It is concluded that the presence of biomolecules at the articulating interface may reduce friction. A higher concentration of a biological lubricant leads to a decrease in the wear particle width. In addition, in combination with the wear results and mechanical analysis, the roles of individual biomolecules contributing to friction and wear at the articulating interface are discussed. These results can help us to identify the role of the biomolecules in the boundary lubrication of artificial joints, and further development of lubricating additives for artificial joints may be feasible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2428-2437
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomaterials
  • Interfaces
  • Particle size distribution
  • Polyethylene (PE)
  • Proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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