Investigation of Wear Behavior of Biopolymers for Total Knee Replacements Through Invitro Experimentation

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Rashtreeya Vidyalaya College of Engineering, Bengaluru, India


The average life span of knee prosthesis used in Total Knee Replacement (TKR) is approximately 10 to 15 years. Literature indicates that the reasons for implant failures include wear, infection, instability, and stiffness. However, the majority of failures are due to wear and tear of the prosthesis. The most common biopolymer used in TKR  is Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE). Prevailing research reports that implants are restrained by tiny UHMWPE debris generated by long term friction between the femoral component and polyethylene articulating surface. This necessitates an alternative material with high wear-resistance to reduce the wear rate. Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) is one of the biopolymers expected to possess better mechanical properties and biocompatibility with surrounding tissue and hence can be suitable for orthopedic applications. In this regard, a study on UHMWPE and PEEK biopolymers was carried out and tribological behavior was examined. The effect of process parameters such as normal load and speed on the tribological performance of biopolymers were evaluated. The experiment plan was designed as per Taguchi’s Design of Experiments methodology. An empirical relation between wear and process parameters was established using linear regression analysis. Microanalysis and failure analysis of worn-out surfaces of both the biopolymers was carried out using  Scanning Electron Microscopy(SEM). Results exhibit that UHMWPE had deep grooves as compared to finer grooves on PEEK indicating a low wear rate in the latter. This was also supported by the experimental results suggesting PEEK as a suitable alternative biopolymer for TKR.


Y Sandeep Kumar, Rajeswar Rao KVS, Sunil R Yalamalle, SM Venugopal, Sandeep Krishna. “Applications of 3D printing in TKR pre-surgical planning for design optimization–A case study”. Proceedings of Elsevier Materials Today, Vol. 5, (2018), 18833-18838.
Philipp Honigmann, Neha Sharma, Brando okola, Uwe Popp, Bilal Msallem, Florian M Thieringer. “Patient-specific surgical implants made of 3D printed PEEK: material”, Technology, and Scope of Surgical Application, Hindawi BioMed Research International, (2018).
M Geetha, A.K Sigh, R Ashokamani, A.K Gogia. “Ti based biomaterials, the ultimate choice for orthopaedic implants – A review”. Progress in Materials Science, Vol. 54, (2009), 397-425.
L Brockett, S. Carbone, A.Abdelgained, J Fisher, L M Jennings. “Influence of contact pressure, cross shear and counterface material on the wear of PEEK and CFR-PEEK for orthopaedic applications”. Journal of the Mechanical Behaviour of Biomedical Materials, Vol. 63 (2016), 10-16.
Scholes. S, A. Unswarth. “Wear studies on the likely performance of CFR–PEEK/ CoCrMo for use as artificial joint bearing materials”. Journal of Material Science, Materials in Medicine, Vol. 20 (2009), 163-170. doi: 10.1007/s10856-008-3558-3
Ashley A Stratton powell, Kinga M pasko, Claire L Brockett, Joanne L Tipper. “The Biologic Response to PEEK wear particles in total joint replacements–A systematic review”. Journal of clinical orthopaedics and related research, Vol. 474 (2016), 2394-2404. doi: 10.1007/s11999-016-4976-z
Chen Ying Su, Shih shcean, Huanh, Hsu – weiFang. “Effect of major components of synovial fluid on the morphology and wear rate of polyether ether ketone particles under an accelerated wear process”. MDPI Journal of polymers, Vol. 10 (2018), 1-10. doi: 10.3390/polym10060635
H. Unal, A. Mimaroglu. “Friction and wear characteristics of PEEK and its composites under water lubrication”. Journal of Reinforced plastic and composites, Vol. 25, No. 16, (2014), 1659-1667.
Stephanie Hamilton, Patrica Munoz – Escalona. “Enhancement of wear properties of a polyetherether ketone polymer by incorporation of carbon and glass fibers”. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, Vol. 136, No. 22, (2019), 1-11.
S Y Gajjal, Aishwarya J Unkle, P S Gajjal. “Taguchi Technique for dry sliding wear behaviour of PEEK composite material”. Proceedings of Elsevier Materials Today, Vol. 5, (2018), 950-957.
Vesa Saikko. “In vitro wear simulation on Random POD wear testing system as a screening method for bearing materials intended for total knee arthroplasty”. Journal of Biomechanics, Vol. 5 (2014), 1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2014.04.039.
SM Salehi, GH Ferrahi, S Sohrabpour “A Study on the Contact Ellipse and the Contact Pressure During the Wheel Wear through Passing the Tracks including Several Sharp Curves,” International Journal of Engineering, Transactions B: Applications, Vol. 31, No. 5, (2018), 826–833. doi: 10.5829/ije.2018.31.05b.19
Pruthvi serrao, Ravikanth prabhu, Chiranth B.P, Yazid Mohemmed. “Application of Taguchi method to predict the abrasive wear behaviour of CP titanium”. Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Vol. 6, (2016), 13-17. doi:10.5923/c.jmea.201601.03
H. Van Hoten, Gunawarman, I. Hari Mulyad, A. Kurniawan Mainil, P. Bismantolo, Nurbaiti “Parameters Optimization in Manufacturing Nanopowder Bioceramics of Eggshell with Pulverisette 6 Machine using Taguchi and ANOVA Method”. International Journal of Engineering, Transactions A: Basics, Vol. 31, No. 1, (2018), 45-49. doi: 10.5829/ije.2018.31.01a.07
E. C. Okafor, C. C. Ihueze, S. C. Nwigbo “Optimization of Hardness Strengths Response of Plantain Fibers Reinforced Polyester Matrix Composites (PFRP) Applying Taguchi Robust Design”. International Journal of Engineering, Transactions A: Basics, Vol. 26, No. 1, (2013), 1-11. doi: 10.5829/idosi.ije.2013.26.01a.01
Kaufui V. Wong, Aldo Hernandez “A Review of Additive Manufacturing”. International Scholarly Research Network, Vol. 2012, 1-10. doi:10.5402/2012/208760
Y Sandeep Kumar, Rajeswar Rao KVS, Sunil R Yalamalle, S M Venugopal and Sandeep Krishna ”Effect of slicing thickness and increment on the design of patient specific implant for total knee replacement(TKR) using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – A case study”. Springer “Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, Vol. 169 (2020), 411-418.
Marjan Bahrami Nasb, Mohd Roshdi Hassan “Mettalic Biomaterials of knee and Hip–A Review”. Trends in Biomaterials and Artificial Organs, Vol. 24, No. 1, (2010), 69 - 82.
Caroline o Sullivan, Peter O Hare, Greg Byrne, Liam O Neil, Katie B Ryan and Abima M crean “A modified surface on Titanium deposited by a Blasting Process”. Coatings, Vol. 1, (2011), 53-71. doi:10.3390/coatings1010053
Pei-Bang Liao, Hsin-Chung Cheng, Chiung-Fang Huang, Yi Lin, Yung-Kang Shen, Yang-Ming Fan, Chang-Yu Lee, Chun-Wei Chang & Wei-Chiang Hung “The cell culture of titanium alloy surface modification by powder blasting and co blasting technique”. Surface Engineering, Vol. 35, (2019), 45-49.
E.M. Bortoleto, A.C. Rovani, V. Seriacopi, F.J. Profito, D.C. Zachariadis, I.F. Machado, A. Sinatora, R.M. Souza “Experimental and numerical analysis of dry contact in the pin on disc test”. Wear, Vol. 301, (2013), 19-26.
Z˙ aneta Anna Mierzejewska, Radovan Hudák, and Jarosław Sidun “Mechanical Properties and Microstructure of DMLS Ti6Al4V Alloy Dedicated to Biomedical Applications”. Materials, Vol. 12, No. 176, (2019), 1-17. doi:10.3390/ma12010176
H.K. Rafi, N.V. Karthik, Haijun Gong, Thomas L. Starr, and Brent E. Stucker “Microstructures and Mechanical Properties of Ti6Al4V Parts Fabricated by Selective Laser Melting and Electron Beam Melting”. Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance, Vol. 23, No. 12, (2013), 3872-3885. DOI: 10.1007/s11665-013-0658-0
Muzamil Hussain y , Rizwan Ali Naqvi y, Naseem Abbas, Shahzad Masood Khan, Saad Nawaz , Arif Hussain , Nida Zahra  and Muhammad Waqas Khalid, Sohrabpour “Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight-Polyethylene (UHMWPE) as a Promising Polymer Material for Biomedical Applications: A Concise Review,” MDPI Polymers, Vol. 12, No. 323, (2020), 826-833. doi:10.3390/polym12020323
P.J. Rae a, E.N. Brown a, E.B. Orler “The mechanical properties of poly(ether-ether-ketone) (PEEK) with emphasis on the large compressive strain response,” Science Direct Polymers, Vol. 48 (2007), 598-615. doi:10.1016/j.polymer.2006.11.032
Saravanan I, ElayaPerumalA, Balasubramanian V “A study of frictional wear behavior of Ti6Al4V and UHMWPE hybrid composite on TiN surface for bio-medical applications” Tribology International Vol. 98, (2016), 179-189.
VC U.varaja, N. Natarajan,“ Optimization on Friction and Wear Process Parameters Using Taguchi Technique” International Journal of Engineering and Technology, Vol. 2 No. 4, (2012), 694-699. doi: 10.5829/ije.2018.31.01a.07
Narasimha reddy, P., Ahmed Naqash. J “Effect of alccofine on mechanical and durability index properties of green concrete” International Journal of Engineering, Transactions C: Aspects, Vol. 32, No. 6, (2019), 813-819. doi: 10.5829/ije.2019.32.06c.03