The magazine MAQ September 2018 MAQ Magazine November 2018 - Page 323

MAQ/November 2018 / 07

Engineers and physicians have made a surprising discovery that offers a target for designing new materials for hip implants that are less susceptible to the joint's normal wear and tear.

The team found that graphitic carbon is a key element in a lubricating layer that forms on metal-on-metal hip implants.

The lubricant is more similar to the lubrication of a combustion engine than that of a natural joint.

X-ray of the hip region with a metal-on-metal implant superimposed, and a schematic illustrating graphitic material on the surface of the implant. The red spheres represent the positions of the carbon atoms in a single layer of graphite.

Credit: Image courtesy of Northwestern University