Dynamical mechanical analysis as an assay of cross-link density of orthopaedic ultra high molecular weight polyethylene

Steven D. Reinitz, Evan M. Carlson, Rayna A.C. Levine, Katherine J. Franklin, Douglas W. Van Citters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Abstract The established gravimetric gel swell technique for measuring cross-link density in orthopaedic ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is unable to detect local distributions of cross-link density that may be expected after in vivo degradation. Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) offers better spatial resolution of cross-linking. The ability to measure cross-link density in thin specimens using DMA would enable depth dependent analysis of cross-link density, opening the door to future studies on the effects of oxidation, antioxidants, and other factors on cross-linking. Thus, the aim of this study was to compare the performance of gel swell and DMA in the measurement of cross-link density in a range of highly cross-linked UHMWPE materials and to determine the relationship between the results of the two techniques. The results suggest that DMA and gel swell each offer advantages, and that both may have applications in the study of explanted orthopaedic UHMWPE bearings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4454
Pages (from-to)174-178
Number of pages5
JournalPolymer Testing
StatePublished - Jul 2 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by a grant from DePuy-Synthes Joint Reconstruction in support of the laboratory. The funding entity was not involved in this investigation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Copyright 2015 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Arthroplasty
  • Cross-linking
  • Dynamic mechanical analysis
  • Polyethylene


Dive into the research topics of 'Dynamical mechanical analysis as an assay of cross-link density of orthopaedic ultra high molecular weight polyethylene'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this