Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First Clinical Use: New Form Of Polyethylene Will Allow Stronger, More Versatile Joint Replacement

Date:
July 26, 2007
Source:
Massachusetts General Hospital
Summary:
Surgeons have performed the first total hip replacement using a joint socket lined with a novel material. An advance over first-generation highly crosslinked polyethylene significantly reduced a serious complication of early hip implants, the new material may be applied in replacements for a wider variety of joints in a more diverse group of patients.

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) surgeons have performed the first total hip replacement using a joint socket lined with a novel material invented at the MGH. An advance over first-generation highly crosslinked polyethylene, which was also developed at MGH and significantly reduced a serious complication of early hip implants, the new material may be applied in replacements for a wider variety of joints in a more diverse group of patients.

"We think this material could be used for any joint in the body and in any implant design, even those demanding higher flexion and more mobility," says Orhun Muratoglu, PhD, co-director of the Harris Orthopædics Biomechanics and Biomaterials Laboratory (OBBL) at MGH, who developed the new material in collaboration with scientists at the Cambridge Polymer Group.

Total replacements for hips and other joints were developed in the late 1960s, but it soon became apparent that hip implants could start loosening about 5 years after surgery and would eventually fail completely. A team led by William Harris, MD, DSc, now director emeritus of the MGH OBBL, investigated this complication and found that long-term friction of the implant's head against the polyethylene-lined joint socket would break off small particles of polyethylene. The body's immune system reacted against these foreign particles, eventually destroying adjacent bone tissue and causing the implant to loosen -- a condition called periprosthetic osteolysis.

Harris and his colleagues, working with polymer chemists from MIT, found that high doses of radiation would "crosslink" the polyethylene, bonding molecules together to produce a much more durable material. The procedure also generates free radicals that could lead to oxidization and degradation of the implant, but the research team found that melting the material would eliminate free radicals. The first-generation highly crosslinked polyethylene was approved by the FDA for use in implants in 1999 and has been licensed to Zimmer, Inc.

However, the MGH researchers knew that the first-generation material had limitations in strength that made it unsuitable for some types of joint replacement implants. Subsequently, Muratoglu found that oxidation could be blocked by diffusing the antioxidant vitamin E throughout the polyethylene material. Both mechanical testing and animal studies have shown that the new material resists wear as well as the first generation and is much stronger. Vitamin-E-stabilized, highly crosslinked polyethylene has also received FDA approval for use in joint implants and has been licensed to both Zimmer and to Biomet, Inc., which made the implant used in the first surgical procedure on July 16.

"This material will allow us to offer our patients very long-term, high-performance joint replacements," says Andrew A. Freiberg, MD, chief of the Arthoplasty Service in the MGH Department of Orthopædics, who performed the first implant with the new material. "It should be suitable for higher-stress applications in younger patients, those who are more active and those who are heavier."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts General Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts General Hospital. "First Clinical Use: New Form Of Polyethylene Will Allow Stronger, More Versatile Joint Replacement." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070723160038.htm>.
Massachusetts General Hospital. (2007, July 26). First Clinical Use: New Form Of Polyethylene Will Allow Stronger, More Versatile Joint Replacement. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070723160038.htm
Massachusetts General Hospital. "First Clinical Use: New Form Of Polyethylene Will Allow Stronger, More Versatile Joint Replacement." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070723160038.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) — Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) — British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins