Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Effects of Annealing on UHMWPE Molecular Orientation



S Sambasvian, Daniel A. Fischer, M C. Shen, John A. Tesk, Stephen M. Hsu


Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is the dominant material used in artificial joints due to its outstanding wear resistance. At the same time, UHMWPE wear debris has been found to contribute to the loosening of the im-plants. As life expectancy increases, there is an urgent need to improve the life of implants. Molding and annealing the UHMWPE at a safe elevated temperature have been demonstrated to result in increased mechanical strength. Cross-linking of UHMWPE has also been demonstrated to reduce wear significantly. We have previously measured molecular orientation as a function of wear motion. While the link between molecular orientation and wear has not been clearly established, molecular orientation has been recognized as an important parameter in wear resistance. This paper will examine the change of molecular orientation by annealing UHMWPE. Our technique utilizes soft x-ray absorption spectroscopy at a synchrotron beamline to char-acterize the molecular orientation of the UHMWPE surface layer.


annealing, molecular orientation, synchrotron beam line, UHMWPE, wear, x-ray


Sambasvian, S. , Fischer, D. , Shen, M. , Tesk, J. and Hsu, S. (2000), Effects of Annealing on UHMWPE Molecular Orientation, Biomaterials, [online], (Accessed June 13, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created December 31, 1999, Updated October 12, 2021