Leung, S-Y, New, A.M.R. and Browne, M.
The use of complementary non-destructive evaluation methods to evaluate the integrity of the cement–bone interface.
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine, 223, (1), . (doi:10.1243/09544119JEIM465).
The integrity of the cement–bone interface is vital to the long-term stability of
cemented hip arthroplasty. Most of the previous studies investigating the interface have been
confined to the continuum level, neglecting the effects of microstructure. Microscopic damage
at the interface may eventually lead to macroscopic loosening of the implant. However, since
the strength of the interface depends on the interlock of the cement with bone and since the
properties of cancellous bone depend on its microstructure, the study of the behaviour of the
interface at the microstructural level may help an understanding of the factors governing
initiation of loosening to be gained. In this study, two complementary non-destructive
methods, acoustic emission (AE) and computed tomography (CT), have been implemented to
study the initiation and progression of damage of an analogue cement–bone interface sample
under four-point bending. Early failure was detected, localized, and characterized using AE. CT
images of the sample before and after loading were used to visualize damage in three
dimensions. Damage initiated at the interface and was found to be related to stress-raising
microstructural features in the cement. These were caused by irregularities in the geometry of
the bone analogue and recesses and notches formed by the flow of cement.
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