Relationship between wear and nano-mechanical properties of Polycarbonate Urethane (PCU)

Summer 2016

Sofia Arevalo : Mechanical Engineering

Mentor: Lisa Pruitt

Polycarbonate Urethane (Bionate, PCU), a medical grade polymer, is utilized in the orthopedic industry as a load bearing system due to its superior mechanical properties and biocompatibility. However, adhesive/abrasive wear of polymers in vivo can lead to osteolysis (bone loss) and subsequent aseptic loosening of implants, severely limiting their overall lifetime. This study will instigate the surface mechanical properties, by using a nanonindenter by Hysitron, of Bionate 75D and Bionate 80A and determine a correlation between nanoindentation and wear properties. Understanding the relationship between surface properties and wear behavior can allow researchers to efficiently measure surface behavior.

It is an honor and a privilege to participate in SURF, and would like to thank my donors, the Rose Hills Foundation, for giving me the opportunity to perform research alongside top researchers in my field. I am looking forward to growing as an independent researcher and publishing my summer findings at the Orthopedic Research Society 2017. Additionally, this summer fellowship will be the foundation of my masterā€™s thesis and the beginning of my graduate research experience.