Biotribology and Implant Wear
This article provides an overview of the fundamentals of tribology. It describes the advantages, disadvantages, and applications of the pin-on-disk method, which is the most commonly used configuration for testing biomaterials and for the reproducible measurement of friction and wear. The article illustrates a practical tribocorrosion setup that allows a user to perform wear tests in corrosive environments under well-defined electrochemical conditions and at controlled temperature. It explains the effect of changes in electrical contact resistance on tribological mode. The article discusses various in vivo environmental conditions in tribological tests. Some typical examples of biomaterials testing are also provided.
Implant debris is known to cause local inflammation, local osteolysis, and, in some cases, local and systemic hypersensitivity. The debris can be stainless steel, cobalt alloy, and titanium alloy, and soluble debris obtained due to wear from all orthopedic implants. This article addresses the biologic aspects of implant debris, both locally and systemically. It describes debris-induced local effects, particle-induced proinflammatory responses, and debris-induced systemic effects. The article concludes with a discussion on the four systemic effects of implant debris, namely, neuropathic effects, hypersensitivity effects, carcinogenicity, and general toxicity.