Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) surgeons have performed the first total hip replacement using a joint socket lined with a novel material invented at the MGH. An advance over first-generation highly crosslinked polyethylene, which was also developed at MGH and significantly reduced a serious complication of early hip implants, the new material may be applied in replacements for a wider variety of joints in a more diverse group of patients.
“We think this material could be used for any joint in the body and in any implant design, even those demanding higher flexion and more mobility,” says Orhun Muratoglu, PhD, co-director of the Harris Orthopædics Biomechanics and Biomaterials Laboratory (OBBL) at MGH, who developed the new material in collaboration with scientists at the Cambridge Polymer Group.
Total replacements for hips and other joints were developed in the late 1960s, but it soon became apparent that hip implants could start loosening about 5 years after surgery and would eventually fail completely. A team led by William Harris, MD, DSc, now director emeritus of the MGH OBBL, investigated this complication and found that long-term friction of the implant’s head against the polyethylene-lined joint socket would break off small particles of polyethylene. The body’s immune system reacted against these foreign particles, eventually destroying adjacent bone tissue and causing the implant to loosen – a condition called periprosthetic osteolysis.
Harris and his colleagues, working with polymer chemists from MIT, found that high doses of radiation would “crosslink” the polyethylene, bonding molecules together to produce a much more durable material. The procedure also generates free radicals that could lead to oxidization and degradation of the implant, but the research team found that melting the material would eliminate free radicals. The first-generation highly crosslinked polyethylene was approved by the FDA for use in implants in 1999 and has been licensed to Zimmer, Inc.
However, the MGH researchers knew that the first-generation material had limitations in strength that made it unsuitable for some types of joint replacement implants. Subsequently, Muratoglu found that oxidation could be blocked by diffusing the antioxidant vitamin E throughout the polyethylene material. Both mechanical testing and animal studies have shown that the new material resists wear as well as the first generation and is much stronger. Vitamin-E-stabilized, highly crosslinked polyethylene has also received FDA approval for use in joint implants and has been licensed to both Zimmer and to Biomet, Inc., which made the implant used in the first surgical procedure on July 16.
“This material will allow us to offer our patients very long-term, high-performance joint replacements,” says Andrew A. Freiberg, MD, chief of the Arthoplasty Service in the MGH Department of Orthopædics, who performed the first implant with the new material. “It should be suitable for higher-stress applications in younger patients, those who are more active and those who are heavier.”
Sue McGreevey | EurekAlert!
New design improves performance of flexible wearable electronics
23.06.2017 | North Carolina State University
Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics
22.06.2017 | American Chemical Society
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
26.06.2017 | Life Sciences
26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.06.2017 | Information Technology