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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reference Materials



John A. Tesk


Since the last meeting of the subcommittee at The World Biomaterials Congress, there are several items related to sub-committee activities.1) Reference Material (RM) 8456, Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE), is now available from The National Institute of Standards and Technology. RM 8456 is intended primarily for use in mechanical characterization of material properties and lab-simulated performance. This material is not intended for use in human implantation or any human biomedical device. One of the main driving forces for the development of the RM was due to a NIST workshop in 1998 on (needs for) Reference Materials. The workshop was co-sponsored by the Society for Biomaterials (SFB) through the Sub-Committee on Reference Materials. The workshop identified the need for a new RM of UHMWPE to replace that inventory of the reference materials that had been previously supplied by the Hospital for Special Surgery.The overall direction and coordination of the analyses for the RM were under John A. Tesk of the NIST Polymers Division. Dr. Stephen Li of the Hospital for Special Surgery provided valuable consultation.An article on availability was published in the Nov-Dec 2000 Issue of the FORUM.2) Through the RM Sub-Committee the SFB co-sponsored a workshop on Reference Data with NIST, held in Gaithersburg, July 27, 2000.The Workshop identified need for Databases on the Properties of Biomaterials and over 20 reference material needs for also identified. NIST is assuming a lead on forming of alliances to develop reference databases on biomaterials and supporting the development of databases elsewhere that may link with the NIST databases. Preliminary work is under way to develop ophthalmic reference materials and a related database. Alliance-forming, one-on-one, meetings have been set for orthopaedic reference materials and databases, and a tissue scaffold reference material. Cardiovascular reference material development discussions are resuming with the Polymer Technology Group.A brief summary report was published in the Biomaterials FORUM, Nov-Dec 2000 Issue. An expanded article is under preparation for the J. Appl. Biomats.3) The RM Sub-Committee and the Liaison Committee had decided to work toward informing Special Interest groups of potential benefits from participation in development of consensus standards. On the agenda for this Council meeting is a item for discussion of this issue.--Submitted, John A. Tesk, Co-Chair, Sub-Committee on Reference MaterialsRM 8456 is available in units consisting of one cylindrical bar each with nominal dimensions of 7.62 cm (3 in) in diameter by 152.4 cm (60 in) in length. Reference properties are given in a report of investigation that will accompany each unit. The properties reported are the Tensile: Young's Modulus, Yield Strength, Ultimate Strength, and Elongation to Failure. Properties are given as mean values with their expanded uncertainties; they characterize the bar across the center 5.62 cm (2.21 in) of its diameter and down the entire bar length. Samples made from this RM, therefore, should be fabricated from the central 5.62 cm of the 7.62 cm diameter of the bar.The support aspects involved in the preparation and issuance of this Reference Material were coordinated through the NIST Standard Reference Materials Program.
Society for Biomaterials


polyethylene, Reference Material, Rm 8456, UHMWPE, ultra high molecular weight polyethylene


Tesk, J. (2000), Report of the Sub-Committee on Reference Materials, Society for Biomaterials (Accessed April 24, 2024)
Created November 1, 2000, Updated February 17, 2017