Standard Guide for Assessment of the Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) Used in Orthopedic and Spinal Devices

2019-03-12 14:18

Significance and Use


This guide aims to provide guidance for a range of various assessments and evaluations to aid in preclinical research and device development of various UHMWPE components in orthopedic and spinal devices used for the repair of musculoskeletal disorders.

This guide includes brief descriptions of various assessments, representative data, processing conditions, and intended use or uses, as well as the qualitative and quantitative analyses of the UHMWPE powder to a finished product component.

The user is encouraged to use appropriate ASTM International and other standards to conduct the physical, chemical, mechanical, biocompatibility, and preclinical tests on UHMWPE materials, device components, or devices before assessment of an in vivo model.

Assessments of UHMWPE should be performed in accordance with the provisions of 21 CFR 58 where feasible.

Studies to support investigational device exemption (IDE), premarket approval (PMA), or 510K submissions should conform to appropriate Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines for the development of medical devices.

Assessments with physical, chemical, mechanical, biocompatibility, and preclinical tests on UHMWPE components are not necessarily predictive of human results and should be, therefore, interpreted cautiously with respect to potential applicability to human conditions. Referenced UHMWPE publications can be found in the References section at the end of this guide for further review.