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A novel technique for the detailed size characterization of wear debris.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date05/2000
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Number of pages5
Original languageEnglish


The accurate and detailed characterization of artificial joint wear debris is important in determining both the wear rate of prostheses and understanding the role that the debris plays in the development and progression of aseptic loosening. The novel application of low angle laser light scattering (LALLS) to the particle size characterization of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) wear debris is described. The results demonstrate that both ex vivo and in vitro origin wear debris samples, at concentrations typical of those produced via an alkali-digestion retrieval route, can be reproducibly analyzed via LALLS. Because the LALLS route enables particle size analysis of the entire debris sample to be acquired non-destructively and whilst in suspension, artefacts associated with filtering, drying and agglomeration of debris are avoided, in contrast to currently used techniques such as filtration and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observation.