Author's Foreward

My personal exposure to ceramic biomaterials took off in the early 2000s when I began to build the orthopaedic retrieval program at the Implant Research Center in Drexel University. With little more than witness marks in the taper for clues as to how they were installed, and sometimes only the faint impression of microscopic stripes or patches on the bearing surface on the rare occasion if the components were biomechanically malfunctioning, these explanted ceramic components were remarkably durable when compared with polyethylene devices, that showed damage and wear much more readily. I gained a further appreciation for ceramics when I began restoration of my Victorian home in the late 2000s, and started researching and restoring 19th century ceramic tiles. These ceramic artifacts are not only practical and durable but also beautiful works of art.

Having spent quite some time researching polyethylene, I felt it was time to turn attention to drawing together the literature on ceramic biomaterials and their applications in orthopeaedics. Until now, information was available on ceramic hip implants in the literature, but it was scattered in biomedical and clinical papers, as well as in book chapters. Hopefully the reference section of this website will provide a useful encyclopedia of on the subject of ceramic implants for students, residents, and new professionals starting their career in orthopaedics. Established researchers and clincians will hopefully find the systematic reviews useful.

In early 2015 I began the task of a comprehensive review of the scientific literature for ceramic biomaterials and hip implants. The background research for OrthoCeramics took up most of the year, culminating in its official launch in January 2016. This website has two distinct parts: the first part is an online reference which will be updated on an as needed basis; the second is a compendium of the latest scientific papers for ceramic biomaterials and implants, which will be regularly updated as new developments emerge.

This website was made possible in part due to longstanding collaborations with my colleagues at Exponent and Drexel University. Thanks are especially due to Roland Huet, from Exponent, for his tutelage over the years on the materials science of ceramics; and Edmund Lau and Doruk Baykal for working with me on various health outcome studies of ceramic hip implants. Special thanks are also due to the staff and students at Drexel University, including Dan MacDonald, John Heffernan, Sevi Kocagoz and Eliza Fredette, who have worked with me on a variety of research projects about ceramic implants and helped me build my “hands on” knowledge with these devices.

I am, as always, especially thankful for the patience and understanding of my wife Karen, and my children, Katie, Peter, Michael, Sophia, and Andrew, for allowing me to spend most of my free time in 2015 on this little project.

Steven M. Kurtz
Hanging out in Palo Alto, CA
December 18, 2015

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