Contamination of polyethylene cups with polymethyl methacrylate particles: an experimental study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The articulating surfaces of 6 ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene cups were exposed to curing polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) bone-cement and examined with scanning electron microscopy and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS). Three of the cups were exposed to blood and bone-cement, and the rest were exposed to bone-cement only. After removal of the bone-cement bulk, PMMA particles were found and identified in all 6 cups. The particles were verified by identifying zirconium with energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy in 5 cups and with LA-ICPMS in 1 cup. The degree of surface contamination was estimated with LA-ICPMS. The number of zirconium-containing particles detected was on average 10 to 20/mm2. PMMA bone-cement left in polyethylene cups during polymerization can contaminate the articulating surface with adherent PMMA particles.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Orthopedics


  • polymethyl methacrylate, third body contamination, total hip arthroplasty
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-908
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch