Friction and Wear Control in the Artificial Hip Joint

Artificial hip joints, while considered one of the most impressive bio-medical discoveries of the last century, are plagued by premature failures due to the onset of extreme wear and resulting osteolysis. This project focuses on surface texturing, a technique involving the alteration of asperity-scale surface features, with the aim of reducing harsh contact parameters in the hip joint. Surface texturing is carried out using micromachining, with tribometer testing carried out in water and resulting in as much as a 50% reduction in coefficient of friction. hip joint
PFTL Research Assistant(s):   Patrick S. M. Dougherty, Gagan Srivastava; David Keyser
Method(s) Employed:   Surface texturing, low-load/speed hip-relevant tribometry, optical interferometry,
Rig(s) and/or Software(s) Employed:   Bruker UMT-3, Zygo New-View 7300 optical Interferometer,
Sponsor(s):   NSF GRFP Fellowship; Dowd Fellowship

Sample Results:

image 1 chart
stribeck curves wear loss


Select PFTL References:

1.) Dougherty, P., Srivastava, G., Onler R., Ozdoganlar B., Higgs III, C.F. "Lubrication Enhancement for UHMWPE Sliding Contacts through Surface Texturing," Accepted for Publication: Tribology Transactions, December 2013