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Particle analysis

Wear particles are of importance to characterize the wear behavior of an implant. The biological reactivity of the wear particles is determined by the number, size and morphology of the wear particles. Thus, wear particle analysis provides important additional information to evaluate the wear behavior of an implant.

For wear particle characterization, isolation of the wear particles is necessary. Therefore, the environmental medium (in vitro: bovine serum/ in vivo: synovial fluid/tissue) is digested using acidic, basic or enzymatic techniques. Which technique is used depends on the wear particle material (e.g. polyethylene, ceramic, metal). Afterwards wear particles are analyzed using a high resolution scanning electron microscope. Number, size and morphology (e.g. roundness, aspect ratio) are determined according to standards (ISO 17853; ASTM F 1877) as well as based on newly developed and validated methods.

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