Solubility changes in shelf-aged ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene acetabular liners

David Pienkowski, Ash Patel, Kwon Yong Lee, Doris M. Hamilton, Robert J. Jacob, Joel Higgins, David W. Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Crosslinking of extruded, air-packaged, irradiated, shelf-aged (10 consecutive years) polyethylene acetabular liners was measured versus time and material location by using a hot xylene extraction protocol. Insolubility (crosslinking) of new polyethylene liners was 87%, but decreased to 45% after 10 years of shelf-aging. This degradation is similar to that observed from retrieved (aged in vivo) acetabular cups. Crosslinking varied with depth in the aged liners and with radial location in the unaged liners. Given that crosslinking improves polyethylene's wear resistance, crosslinking degradation of polyethylene orthopaedic components must be controlled to improve the long-term clinical performance of total joint implants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-288
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999


  • Aging
  • Crosslinking
  • Degradation
  • Polyethylene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Dentistry (all)


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