The UHMWPE Lexicon is the online reference for ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene used in total joint replacements. The additional goals for this website are to provide an overview of state-of-the-art research in several key polyethylene related problems of clinical significance and to encourage hypothesis driven polyethylene research. [+] Read more about us.

Publications & Reports

Call for Abstracts: 7th International UHMWPE Meeting in Philadelphia, USA

The Implant Research Center of Drexel University and Exponent, Inc., are pleased to announce a call for abstracts for the 7th International UHMWPE Meeting, which will be convened at the Union League, Philadelphia PA, USA, on Thursday and Friday, October 22 and 23, 2015. The purpose of the meeting is to bring together engineers, scientists, and clinicians from academia and industry and present leading edge research on advancements in medical grade UHMWPE technology and clinical applications. The focus of the 7th meeting is on clinical and retrieval studies of highly crosslinked UHMWPE (HXLPE); novel UHMWPE articulations with ceramic and PEEK bearing surfaces; advances in thermal processing and new antioxidant technologies for UHMWPE; astructural composites and woven fiber applications of medical grade UHMWPE; as well as advances in biologic aspects of UHMWPE wear debris.

Retrieval Analysis of Sequentially Annealed HXLPE in THA

First-generation annealed and second-generation sequentially annealed, highly crosslinked polyethylenes (HXLPEs) have documented reduced clinical wear rates in their first decade of clinical use compared with conventional gamma inert-sterilized polyethylene. This retrieval study examines their reasons for revision, their in vivo oxidative stability, and their resistance to mechanical degradation. Researchers observed evidence of in vivo oxidation in retrieved annealed and, to a lesser extent, retrieved sequentially annealed acetabular liners.

Editorial: Arthroplasty devices: Registries and beyond.

Established international registries such as those implemented in Australia, as well as in England and Wales, effectively monitor both the successes and the problems associated with newly introduced implants. Similarly, the establishment of the International Consortium of Orthopedic Registries, consisting of 29 international registries with information covering more than 3.6 million orthopaedic implants, represents an unprecedented effort to collate this information into an even more effective resource. This editorial, co-authored by the FDA, explains the US clinical and regulatory need, as well as an unprecedented opportunity, for further development of national and international initiatives aimed at capturing and synthesizing interdisciplinary (clinical, biological, technological) evidence for more comprehensive analysis of the causes pertaining to orthopaedic revision burden.

Editorial Comment from CORR Symposium: Advances in UHMWPE Biomaterials

Ten papers that were presented at the 6th International UHMWPE Meeting, which took place in Torino, Italy, from October 10-11, 2013, have now been published as a CORR Symposium: Advances in UHMWPE Biomaterials. The editorial comment for this issue is also made available here on the UHMWPE Lexicon website. CORR has agreed to produce another UHMWPE Symposium for the proceedings of the 7th International UHMWPE Meeting, that will be held in Philadelphia, PA, USA, from October 22-23, 2015.

The 2nd Edition of the UHMWPE Biomaterials Handbook

The 2nd Edition of the UHMWPE Biomaterials Handbook, edited by Steven M. Kurtz, Ph.D., is published by Elsevier Academic Press. The new edition includes 35 chapters and over 15 contributors, expanding upon the history, properties, and clinical performance of biomaterials used for joint replacement. The new edition contains dedicated chapters to remelted and annealed highly crosslinked UHMWPE, Vitamin E stabilization, composite biomaterials, high pressure crystallization, as well as chapters covering advances in characterization, such as hip and knee simulator testing, radiographic wear measurement, biological response of wear debris, and fatigue and fracture behavior. The book can be ordered via the Amazon website or downloaded as an Ebook. A preview of the Ebook is also available.

Conferences Updates

Save the Date for the 7th International UHMWPE Meeting in Philadelphia, USA


The Implant Research Center of Drexel University and Exponent in collaboration the Univeristy of Torino are organizing the 7th International UHMWPE Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, USA, on Thursday and Friday, October 22-23, 2015. Please save the date and check back here on this website for more information on the planning of the next UHMWPE meeting.


Standards Updates

New UHMWPE Standards Published in 2014

ASTM has just published an update to ASTM F648-14, the Standard Specification for UHMWPE Powder and Consolidated Forms. The task group agreed at the May and Nov 2013 meetings to eliminate the requirement for measurement of Ash content for the consolidated forms of UHMWPE (in Table 2), because it was already required to be measured on the powder (Table 1). Nothing is added to the powder during molding that could affect the amount of ash. The requirements for characterizing extraneous matter and verifying consolidation continued to be relevant and were unaffected by this revision. Two additional changes were made to restore verbiage that was inadvertently deleted in previous versions.


Work continues in 2015 to finalize the results from an interlaboratory (round robin) evaluation of the small punch test. The next ASTM meeting of the UHMWPE working group will be at the Marriot Anaheim, in Anaheim, CA, on Wednesday, May 20, 2015.