Current protocols employed to measure wear of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) utilize gravimetric and/or topographic measurement techniques. However, these methods may be subject to error due to creeping and fluid absorption capabilities of polyethylene. A novel process designed to avoid these errors was developed using Europium (Eu) as a tracer material to quantify polyethylene wear. Eu is a rare earth element that does not naturally occur in the human body and can be quantified using ICP-MS. By combining a solution of Eu – stearate with nascent UHMWPE powder, 9.5 mm diameter pins were molded and subjected to pin-on-disk testing. Samples of the testing lubricant were obtained at regulated intervals. These samples were analyzed for Eu quantification, which were then compared with the gravimetric pin measurements.

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