It is well established that the lubricant properties play a key role in the wear of UHMWPE in prosthetic knees [1] and hips [2, 3]. The total protein concentration, the albumin – globulin ratio, the lubricant volume turnover rate, and the protein precipitation rate, all have ben found to affect the polyethylene wear rate [3]. A factor that has not yet been studied, but may be of clinical relevance, is the effect of the state of protein on the wear and friction of prosthetic joints. Protein cleavage is expected in the presence of an inflammatory response [4] and through wear processes at the articular interface. Such cleavage may have a significant effect on the lubrication regime and the wear mechanism of the prosthetic joint. An understanding of this effect is therefore required to further elucidate UHMWPE wear mechanisms, to increase the reliability and validity of wear tests for the preclinical evaluation of prosthetic joints, and to clinically assess patient effects.

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