Carbon Layer Lubricates All-Metal Hips | January 2, 2012 Issue - Vol. 90 Issue 1 | Chemical & Engineering News
 
 
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Volume 90 Issue 1 | p. 10 | News of The Week
Issue Date: January 2, 2012

Carbon Layer Lubricates All-Metal Hips

Discovery could lead to longer-lasting hip implants
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Analytical SCENE, Biological SCENE, Materials SCENE
Keywords: tribology, hip replacement, orthopedic surgery, electron microscopy

The lubricant that forms to lessen friction in metal-on-metal hip replacements is made of a thin, graphitelike layer of carbon, not protein as researchers suspected (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1213902). That surprise might pave the way for long-lasting implants.

Ball-and-socket-shaped hip prostheses can be made from several different materials, including metal, plastic, and ceramics. The types thought to wear the least with time are metal-on-metal implants, with both ball . . .

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