Liners used in orthopedic devices are often made from ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). A general predictive capability for transport coefficients of small molecules in UHMWPE does not exist, making it difficult to assess properties associated with leaching or uptake of small molecules. To address this gap, we describe here how a form of the Vrentas–Duda free volume model can be used to predict upper-bound diffusion coefficients (D) of arbitrary molecules within UHMWPE on the basis of their size and shape. Within this framework, the free-volume microstructure of UHMWPE is defined by analysis of a curated set of model diffusants. We determined an upper limit on D for vitamin E, a common antioxidant added to UHMWPE, to be 7.1 × 10−12 cm2 s−1. This means that a liner that contains 0.1 wt % or less Vitamin E and has <120 cm2 patient contacting surface area would elute <100 µg/day of vitamin E. Additionally, the model predicts that squalene and cholesterol—two pro-oxidizing biological compounds—do not penetrate over 820 µm into UHMWPE liners over the course of 5 years because their (Formula presented.) is ≤7.1 × 10−12 cm2 s−1.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials|
|State||Published - Aug 2018|
- free volume
- medical devices
- orthopedic liners