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How Much Is Known about Highly Cross-Linked Polyethylene Liners?

Jan. 19, 2020

For younger, more active patients, the long-term survival of the metal-to-polyethylene (UHMWPE) friction interface is limited by the biological response of the UHMWPE material to wear. Hip prosthesis manufacturer shares with you.

Highly cross-linked polyethylene lining (XPE lining) is a potential solution to reduce wear. Studies have shown that the wear resistance of XPE linings is better than that of traditional UHMWPE linings, which can greatly extend the life of the prosthesis, reduce the risk of osteolysis caused by abrasive particles around the prosthesis, and reduce the incidence of aseptic loosening.

According to the data from the American Joint Registration Center (AJRR), XPE lining has become the mainstream clinical prosthesis of low friction interface in the world.

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In order to better understand the superior properties of XPE liners, we must first understand the inherent relationship between XPE and UHMWPE materials.

UHMWPE (ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene) is the English abbreviation of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene. It is a long-chain type with a relative molecular weight of 2-9 × 106g / mol formed by the polymerization of ethylene monomer (C2H4) The polymer material is finally formed by molding or plunger extrusion or hot isostatic pressing. The product is mainly used in the field of joint replacement.

What is the performance of UHMWPE material?

Due to the existence of extremely long macromolecular chains, the crystallization ability of UHMWPE is limited. Therefore, the proportion of the crystalline phase in UHMWPE materials is only about 50%, which is significantly lower than that of standard high-density polyethylene (HDPE) materials. The crystalline phase of the UHMWPE material is dispersed in a continuous amorphous phase. This special structure gives UHMWPE materials the properties required for long-term connection with metal or ceramic joint prosthetic components: high wear resistance, low friction coefficient, high strength, toughness and fatigue resistance, and good biocompatibility.

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