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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Confocal Raman spectroscopic analysis of cross-linked ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene for application in artificial hip joints
Author(s): Giuseppe Pezzotti; Tsuyoshi Kumakura; Kiyotaka Yamada; Toshiyuki Tateiwa; Leonardo Puppulin; Wenliang Zhu; Kengo Yamamoto
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Paper Abstract

Confocal spectroscopic techniques are applied to selected Raman bands to study the microscopic features of acetabular cups made of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) before and after implantation in vivo. The micrometric lateral resolution of a laser beam focused on the polymeric surface (or subsurface) enables a highly resolved visualization of 2-D conformational population patterns, including crystalline, amorphous, orthorhombic phase fractions, and oxidation index. An optimized confocal probe configuration, aided by a computational deconvolution of the optical probe, allows minimization of the probe size along the in-depth direction and a nondestructive evaluation of microstructural properties along the material subsurface. Computational deconvolution is also attempted, based on an experimental assessment of the probe response function of the polyethylene Raman spectrum, according to a defocusing technique. A statistical set of high-resolution microstructural data are collected on a fully 3-D level on γray irradiated UHMWPE acetabular cups both as-received from the maker and after retrieval from a human body. Microstructural properties reveal significant gradients along the immediate material subsurface and distinct differences are found due to the loading history in vivo, which cannot be revealed by conventional optical spectroscopy. The applicability of the confocal spectroscopic technique is valid beyond the particular retrieval cases examined in this study, and can be easily extended to evaluate in-vitro tested components or to quality control of new polyethylene brands. Confocal Raman spectroscopy may also contribute to rationalize the complex effects of γ-ray irradiation on the surface of medical grade UHMWPE for total joint replacement and, ultimately, to predict their actual lifetime in vivo.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 January 2007
PDF: 14 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 12(1) 014011 doi: 10.1117/1.2710247
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 12, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Giuseppe Pezzotti, Kyoto Institute of Technology (Japan)
Tsuyoshi Kumakura, Kyoto Institute of Technology (Japan)
Kiyotaka Yamada, Kyoto Institute of Technology (Japan)
Toshiyuki Tateiwa, Kyoto Institute of Technology (Japan)
Leonardo Puppulin, Kyoto Institute of Technology (Japan)
Wenliang Zhu, Kyoto Institute of Technology (Japan)
Kengo Yamamoto, Kyoto Institute of Technology (Japan)


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