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E. Strengthening Cemented Hip Replacements

Narrator: This is Science Today. For the first time, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco have discovered there's a chemical breakdown in the structure of the bone cement used in hip replacements. Michael Ries, lead investigator of the study, says now it's just a matter of finding out what's causing this breakdown.

Ries: We're starting by looking at different ph levels and also peroxide which is an oxidizing agent and that can occur in the body and we're putting bone cement specimens in these different environments at different concentrations for different periods of time and then we're going to see if we can reproduce what happens in the body, but do it in the lab.

Narrator: Reis will also be looking at different types of bone cement.

Ries: We hope to develop an artificial aging process where we could take a newer type of bone cement and test it in the laboratory by simulating the conditions where it would be in the body for ten years. What may be more important than how strong it is at day one is how strong it is after five or ten years.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.