Self-driven Biomedical sensor: in situ wear debris from artificial hip joint

Header image adapted from Liu, 2021. Left: Working mechanism of the fabricated TENG. Right: The short-circuit current of the TENG with different debris sizes.

Mechanically assisted corrosion of metal alloys in hip implants also releases solid particles as well as metal ions into the synovial fluid. Compared to metal ions/particles in blood particles at the surrounding tissues, far fewer studies had been reported on synovial fluid during in-vitro study. Moreover, the metal ions concentrations and the wear particles sizes reported in different studies have greater variations. Also, the Wear debris can either reside as solid particles or can dissolve and further enhance the ion content. Thus it is extremely desirable to produce a technique for in-situ wear debris characterization which might be significant in predicting wear rate and understanding the wear mechanism of implant bearings.

Based on the variety of material selection, device structure, and operating mode, biomedical sensors such as the Triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) was developed as a newly emerging energy technology for monitoring the creation of wear debris in artificial joints where the artificial joint itself can be used as a TENG by the coupling of triboelectrification and electrostatic induction (Liu et al.2021). With the TENG, different micron sizes of wear debris can be separated based on different voltage amplitude. However, the developed method is highly sensitive to test medium and did not provide any rationale in lubricant containing environment which needs further modification.

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This article was written by MM Raihan as part of an ongoing series of scientific communications written and curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.

Raihan is researching In-situ Measurement of Nano-scale Wear Utilising Advanced Sensors at the University of Leeds, UK.