Is ceramic-on-ceramic squeaking phenomenon reproducible in vitro? A long-term simulator study under severe conditions

S. Affatato, F. Traina, C. Mazzega-Fabbro, V. Sergo, M. Viceconti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinical and in vitro studies on ceramic hip prostheses correlate cup implant position with hip noise, ceramic wear, or ceramic liner damage. A ceramic cup malposition could lead to edge load, ceramic head wear, and squeaking. A noise of a ceramic hip could also be correlate with implant instability and liner damage. Aim of this study was to investigate the long-term wear behavior of 12 commercial alumina-on-alumina bearings under severe conditions: different angles of inclination (23°, 45°, and 63°) and the addition of third body particles (titanium and alumina powder) to address the effective role of cup position and ceramic particles on wear and hip noise. The study was performed using a 12-stations hip joint wear simulator (Shore Western, Monrovia) under bovine calf serum used as lubricant. Wear was evaluated by gravimetric method and the piezo-spectroscopic technique was used to evaluate the residual stress of the ceramic components and correlate this to the weight loss. After eight million cycles, we found that the inclination of the cup (63° in this study) was the most disadvantaged and it was correlated with a hip noise. Gravimetric measurements showed higher wear than the other configurations and these results were in agreement with the Photoluminescence investigation. In particular, the results obtained in this work revealed a residual stress state greater not only with respect to the other angles of inclination but also to two retrieved alumina acetabular cups with a 10 years follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-271
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • Ceramic wear
  • Dislocation
  • Hip implant
  • Inclination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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