A Novel Method for Isolation and Recovery of Ceramic Nanoparticles and Metal Wear Debris from Serum Lubricants at Ultra-low Wear Rates

Article English OPEN
Lal, S ; Hall, RM ; Tipper, JL (2016)
  • Publisher: Elsevier

Ceramics have been used to deliver significant improvements in the wear properties of orthopaedic bearing materials, which has made it challenging to isolate wear debris from simulator lubricants. Ceramics such as silicon nitride, as well as ceramic-like surface coatings on metal substrates have been explored as potential alternatives to conventional implant materials. Current isolation methods were designed for isolating conventional metal, UHMWPE and ceramic wear debris. In this paper, we describe a methodology for isolation and recovery of ceramic or ceramic-like coating particles and metal wear particles from serum lubricants under ultra-low and low wear performance. Enzymatic digestion was used to digest the serum proteins and sodium polytungstate was used as a novel density gradient medium to isolate particles from proteins and other contaminants by ultracentrifugation. This method demonstrated over 80% recovery of particles and did not alter the size or morphology of ceramic and metal particles during the isolation process.
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