Samantha Kwan

Understanding Fatigue Behavior in UH polyethylene for Total Joint Replacements

TJRs are commonplace in the U.S. with over one million first-time knee and hip implant
surgeries performed per year. Approximately 12% of those TJRs will require revision surgery, and a leading cause of revision surgeries is fatigue-induced wear of the plastic UH TJR component. This research aims to determine how various microstructural and chemical properties of clinically relevant formulations of UH effect initiation and propagation of cracks. Understanding structure/property/processing relationships in clinical formulations of UH can further inform designs to better suit patient needs, ultimately resulting in better patient outcomes. I will perform experiments to determine the effect of radiation dose on fatigue properties in a specific clinical formulation of UH called GUR 1020. Specifically, I will learn to prepare UH samples for mechanical property testing, operate optical and scanning electron microscopes to observe crack growth and fracture surfaces, and perform standard mechanical property tests on a load frame.

Message to Sponsor

Thank you so much for your generous contribution to the SURF program! I am incredibly thankful to have been selected to work on this project, and it never could have been a possibility without your donation. I can't wait to get to work!
  • Major: Bioengineering, Materials Science & Engineering
  • Sponsor: Johnson Fund
  • Mentor: Bethany Smith