Biomechanics and Tribology of Artificial Knee Joint

  • Zhenxian Chen
  • Jing Zhang
  • Xiao Zhang
  • Zhong-Min JinEmail author
Part of the Springer Series in Biomaterials Science and Engineering book series (SSBSE, volume 13)


Ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) remains the gold standard polymeric bearing material for use in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). However, the wear of UHMWPE inserts, the prosthetic aseptic loosening, and the osteolysis induced by wear particles limit the in vivo performance and lifetime of TKA. The loading and wear performance of UHMWPE components in TKA largely depend on the in vivo biomechanics of artificial knee joint. In turn, the wear of the bearing surfaces of UHMWPE components influences the biomechanics of artificial knee joint. Moreover, the biomechanics and wear of artificial knee joint are influenced by the design, surgical, and patient factors. The development of patient-specific musculoskeletal multibody dynamics simulation provides a reliable virtual platform for the investigation and evaluation of the coupled wear and biomechanical performance of TKA. In the future, in addition to the improvements of the UHMWPE material performance, patient-specific prosthetic design, surgery, and rehabilitation guidance will be the research directions for improving the in vivo wear performance of the UHMWPE components in TKA. In this chapter, both the biomechanics and tribology of knee implants are reviewed. The first section introduces briefly TKA and the current clinical problems. The second section describes the biomechanics of artificial knee joint, including the knee contact forces, the kinematics, and the stress and strain of the UHMWPE insert. The third section reviews the tribology of artificial knee joint, including wear mechanism, wear tests, and prediction of the UHMWPE insert. The fourth section mainly introduces the interaction between the biomechanics and wear of artificial knee joint. The fifth section reviews the effects of prosthetic design and material, surgical and patient factors on the biomechanics, and wear of artificial knee joint. In the final section, the major points are summarized.


Ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene Artificial knee joint Wear failure Total knee arthroplasty Biomechanics Patient-specific Wear testing Computational simulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhenxian Chen
    • 1
  • Jing Zhang
    • 1
  • Xiao Zhang
    • 2
  • Zhong-Min Jin
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Road Construction Technology and Equipment of MOEChang’an UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory for Manufacturing System Engineering, School of Mechanical EngineeringXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  3. 3.Tribology Research Institute, School of Mechanical EngineeringSouthwest Jiaotong UniversityChengduChina
  4. 4.State Key Laboratory of Manufacturing System Engineering, School of Mechanical EngineeringXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  5. 5.Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, School of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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