A tribological and biomimetic study of potential bone joint repair materials
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This research investigates materials for bone-joint failure repair using tribological and biomimicking approaches. The materials investigated represent three different repairing strategies. Refractory metals with and without treatment are candidates for total joint replacements due to their mechanical strength, high corrosion resistance and biocompatibility. A composite of biodegradable polytrimethylene carbonate, hydroxyl apatite, and nanotubes was investigated for application as a tissue engineering scaffold. Non-biodegradable polymer polyimide combined with various concentrations of nanotubes was investigated as a cartilage replacement material. A series of experimental approaches were used in this research. These include analysis of material surfaces and debris using high-resolution techniques and tribological experiments, as well as evaluation of nanomechanical properties. Specifically, the surface structure and wear mechanisms were investigated using a scanning electron microscope and an atomic force microscope. Debris morphology and structure was investigated using a transmission electron microscope. The debris composition was analyzed using an X-ray diffractometer. Nanoindentation was incorporated to investigate the surface nanomechanical properties. Polytrimythelene carbonate combined with hydroxyapatite and nanotubes exhibited a friction coefficient lower than UHMWPE. The nanoindentation response mimicked cartilage more closely than UHMWPE. A composite formed with PI and nanotubes showed a varying friction coefficient and varying nanoindentation response with variation in nanotube concentration. Low friction coefficients corresponded with low modulus values. A theory was proposed to explain this behavior based on surface interactions between nanotubes and between nanotubes and PI. A model was developed to simulate the modulus as a function of nanotube concentration. The boronized refractory metals exhibited brittleness and cracking. Higher friction coefficients were associated with the formation of amorphous debris. The friction coefficient for boronized Cr (~0.06) under simulated body fluid conditions was in the range found in natural joints.
Ribeiro, Rahul (2006). A tribological and biomimetic study of potential bone joint repair materials. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from