Knocking Knees For Implant Testing

December 01, 1998

A new method for testing artificial knee implants is being developed at University College London to replace the 'unrealistic' International Standards Organisation (ISO) test. The new test, commissioned by the DTI, will help UK researchers develop and validate a method for testing the endurance of components in artificial knee joints that accurately simulates real life conditions - allowing designers and manufacturers to accurately predict the lifetime of the replacements in patients.

Thousands of people a year require total knee replacements due to diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. The replacement operation involves removing all of the connecting surfaces of the diseased joint and replacing them with artificial components. Current replacements have an average life service of 10-15 years and efforts to develop this lifetime have been hampered by a lack of effective testing mechanisms.

Sunita Ahir from the Centre for Biomedical Engineering at UCL says, "We have to conclude that the ISO test is unrealistic and that it exaggerates the stresses on some of the knee joint components".
PLEASE MENTION MATERIALS WORLD AS THE SOURCE OF THIS ITEM For further information or a full copy of the article please contact Andrew McLaughlin on tel: 44-171-451-7395; fax: 44-171-839-2289 or email:

Notes for Editors

1. Materials World is the journal of the Institute of Materials, the professional body of more than 19,000 materials scientists and engineers throughout Europe. The journal is distributed to all of the Institute's members who work in areas such as plastics, rubber, steel, metals and ceramics.

2. Materials World is also available on the web:

Institute of Materials

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