Investigation of free radicals in shelf-aged polyethylene tibial components


Long-lived free radicals in ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) tibial components sterilized by gamma radiation and shelf-aged are investigated. UHMWPE tibial components that had been exposed to different sterilization methods, storage environments and aging durations are used. Free radical measurement is performed using an X-band Varian E4 electron spin resonance spectrometer. Results show significant free radicals exist in shelf-aged UHMWPE tibial components for several years after sterilization by gamma radiation. Peroxy radicals are predominant in UHMWPE following prolonged exposure to oxygen in the air while more primary radicals remain in UHMWPE when stored in an inert or low oxygen environment.

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Transactions of the Annual Meeting of the Society for Biomaterials in conjunction with the International Biomaterials Symposium

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