Skip to:

The fundamentals of biotribology and its application to spine arthroplasty

Megan L. Harper, MASc,1 Andrew Dooris, PhD,2 Philippe E. Paré, MASc1

1Medtronic, Spinal and Biologics, Memphis, TN 2DePuy Spine, Raynham, MA


The biological effect of wear of articulating surfaces is a continued concern with large joint replacements and, likewise, of interest for total disc replacements. There are a number of important biotribological testing parameters that can greatly affect the outcome of a wear study in addition to the implant design and material selection. The current ASTM and ISO wear testing standards/guides for spine arthroplasty leave many choices as testing parameters. These factors include but are not limited to the sequence of kinematics and load, phasing, type of lubricant, and specimen preparation (sterilization and artificial aging). The spinal community should critically assess wear studies and be cognizant of the influence of the selected parameters on the test results.

Wear, spine, Metal-on-metal, Metal-on-polymer, arthroplasty, total disc replacement
Volume 3 Issue 4