Wear of total joint replacements is determined gravimetrically in simulator studies. A mix of bovine serum, distilled water, and additives is intended to replicate the lubrication conditions in-vivo. Weight gain due to fluid absorption during testing of UHMWPE components is corrected using a load soak station. In this study six sets of UHMWPE pins were tested for their fluid soak behavior. The samples were subjected to three different loading scenarios while being submersed in two types of commonly used lubricants. After two million cycles or 23.1 days, respectively, the different fluids lead to significantly different soaking results. Test groups that were dynamically loaded gained more weight than unloaded or statically loaded samples. The results suggest that dynamically loaded soak control stations are required during wear testing of UHMWPE components. Otherwise the fluid uptake masks the wear measurement, especially for new polyethylene materials with low wear rates. Furthermore, an agreement on detailed lubricant specifications is desirable.

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