J. Mater. Sci. Technol. ›› 2013, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (6): 514-522.DOI: 10.1016/j.jmst.2013.03.010

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Compression Molded Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene- Hydroxyapatite-Aluminum Oxide-Carbon Nanotube Hybrid Composites for Hard Tissue Replacement

Ankur Gupta1), Garima Tripathi1), Debrupa Lahiri2), Kantesh Balani1)   

  1. 1) Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur 208016, India
    2) Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33174, USA
  • Received:2012-06-20 Revised:2013-01-09 Online:2013-06-30 Published:2013-05-17
  • Contact: K. Balani
  • Supported by:

    Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India.


Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is widely used for articulating surfaces in total hip and knee replacements. In the present work, UHMWPE based polymer composites were synthesized by synergistic reinforcing of bioactive hydroxyapatite (HA), bioinert aluminum oxide (Al2O3), and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) using compression molding. Phase and microstructural analysis suggests retention of UHMWPE and reinforcing phases in the compression molded composites. Microstructural analysis elicited variation in densification due to the size effect of the reinforcing particles. The hybrid composites exhibited hardness, elastic modulus and toughness comparable to that of UHMWPE. The interfacial effect of reinforcement phases has evinced the effectiveness of Al2O3 over HA and CNT reinforcements, depicting synergistic enhancement in hardness and elastic modulus. Weak interfacial bonding of polymer matrix with HA and CNT requires utilization of coupling agents to achieve enhanced mechanical properties without deteriorating cytocompatible properties.


Key words: Compression molding, Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), Hydroxyapatite, Aluminum oxide (Al2O3), Carbon nanotubes (CNTs), Nanoindentation