We developed a second generation highly cross-linked UHMWPE by doping and stabilizing irradiated UHMWPE with the antioxidant vitamin E. With this stabilization method, the crystallinity of the irradiated polyethylene is not decreased as with melting, and hence mechanical properties and fatigue strength can be preserved. Vitamin E-doped, irradiated second generation highly cross-linked UHMWPE showed wear comparable to and higher strength and fatigue resistance than that of 100-kGy irradiated and melted first generation highly cross-linked UHMWPE.

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