Use of an absorbable membrane to position biologically inductive materials in the periprosthetic space of cemented joints.
A device is presented that positions ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) debris against periprosthetic bone surfaces. This can facilitate the study of aseptic loosening associated with cemented joint prostheses by speeding the appearance of this debris within the periprosthetic space. The device, composed of a 100 microm thick bioabsorbable membrane impregnated with 1.4 x 10(9) sub-micron particles of UHMWPE debris, is positioned on the endosteum of the bone prior to the insertion of the cemented orthopedic implant. An in vitro pullout study and an in vivo canine pilot study were performed to investigate its potential to accelerate "time to aseptic loosening" of cemented prosthetic joints. Pullout studies characterized the influence of the membrane on initial implant fixation. The tensile stresses (mean+/-std.dev.) required to withdraw a prosthesis cemented into canine femurs with and without the membrane were 1.15+/-0.3 and 1.54+/-0.01 MPa, respectively; these findings were not significantly different (p > 0.4). The in vivo pilot study, involving five dogs, was performed to evaluate the efficacy of the debris to accelerate loosening in a canine cemented hip arthroplasty. Aseptic loosening and lameness occurred within 12 months, quicker than the 30 months reported in a retrospective clinical review of canine hip arthroplasty.