Date: 06 Mar 2012

Simple isolation method for the bulk isolation of wear particles from metal on metal bearing surfaces generated in a hip simulator test

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Abstract

Isolation and characterization of metal-on-metal (MoM) wear particles from simulator lubricants is essential to understand wear behaviour, ion release and associated corrosive activity related to the wear particles. Substantial challenges remain to establish a simple, precise and repeatable protocol for the isolation and analysis of wear particles due to their extremely small size, their tendency to agglomerate and degrade. In this paper, we describe a simple and efficient method for the bulk isolation and characterisation of wear particles from MoM bearings. Freeze drying was used to remove the large volume of water from the serum lubricant, enzymes used to digest the proteins and ultracentrifugation to finally isolate and purify the particles. The present study involved a total of eight steps for the isolation process and a wear particle extraction efficiency of 45% was achieved.