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Paulus, A. C.; Hasselt, S.; Jansson, V.; Giurea, A.; Neuhaus, H.; Grupp, T. M. and Utzschneider, S. (2016): Histopathological Analysis of PEEK Wear Particle Effects on the Synovial Tissue of Patients. In: Biomed Research International, 2198914 [PDF, 3MB]

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Introduction. Increasing interest developed in the use of carbon-fiber-reinforced-poly-ether-ether-ketones (CFR-PEEK) as an alternative bearing material in knee arthroplasty. The effects of CFR-PEEK wear in in vitro and animal studies are controversially discussed, as there are no data available concerning human tissue. The aim of this study was to analyze human tissue containing CFR-PEEK as well as UHMWPE wear debris. The authors hypothesized no difference between the used biomaterials. Methods and Materials. In 10 patients during knee revision surgery of a rotating-hinge-knee-implant-design, synovial tissue samples were achieved (tibial inserts: UHMWPE;bushings and flanges: CFR-PEEK). One additional patient received revision surgery without any PEEK components as a control. The tissue was paraffin-embedded, sliced into 2 mu m thick sections, and stained with hematoxylin and eosin in a standard process. A modified panoptical staining was also done. Results. A "wear-type" reaction was seen in the testing and the control group. In all samples, the UHMWPE particles were scattered in the tissue or incorporated in giant cells. CFR-PEEK particles were seen as conglomerates and only could be found next to vessels. CFR-PEEK particles showed no giant-cell reactions. In conclusion, the hypothesis has to be rejected. UHMWPE and PEEK showed a different scatter-behavior in human synovial tissue.

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