Bio-mimetic study of novel materials for joint replacements
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Polytrimethylene carbonate (PTMC) and poly -caprolactone are conventional biodegradable, biocompatible polymers. Their friction response against cartilage and surface attraction forces were studied toward using them as artificial cartilage materials. Their behavior was compared to that of natural cartilage and a conventional joint replacement material, ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene. It was possible to polymerize these materials using a calcium based catalyst. Simulated body fluid (SBF) was used as lubricant between surfaces in the friction tests. It was found that higher surface attractive forces on a silicon tip AFM related to lower friction coefficients. This confirs the fact that hydrophilic surfaces enhance the effectiveness of boundary lubrication of simulated body fluid. PTMC and PTMC--caprolactone co-polymer showed lower hydrophilicity and higher friction coefficients and need to be modified in order to bring them closer in behavior to natural cartilage. 2006 Materials Research Society.