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Do 'passive' medical titanium surfaces deteriorate in service in the absence of wear?

DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2012.0438 DOI Help
PMID: 22832360 PMID Help

Authors: Owen Addison (University of Birmingham) , Alison Davenport (University of Birmingham) , Bob Newport (University of Kent at Canterbury) , Sonam Kalra (University of Birmingham) , Mehdi Monir (University of Birmingham) , D. Proops (University Hospitals Birmingham NHS) , Richard Martin (Aston University) , J. F. W. Mosselmans (Diamond Light Source)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Journal Of The Royal Society Interface

State: Published (Approved)
Published: July 2012
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 1573

Abstract: Globally, more than 1000 tonnes of titanium (Ti) is implanted into patients in the form of biomedical devices on an annual basis. Ti is perceived to be ‘biocompatible’ owing to the presence of a robust passive oxide film (approx. 4 nm thick) at the metal surface. However, surface deterioration can lead to the release of Ti ions, and particles can arise as the result of wear and/or corrosion processes. This surface deterioration can result in peri-implant inflammation, leading to the premature loss of the implanted device or the requirement for surgical revision. Soft tissues surrounding commercially pure cranial anchorage devices (bone-anchored hearing aid) were investigated using synchrotron X-ray micro-fluorescence spectroscopy and X-ray absorption near edge structure. Here, we present the first experimental evidence that minimal load-bearing Ti implants, which are not subjected to macroscopic wear processes, can release Ti debris into the surrounding soft tissue. As such debris has been shown to be pro-inflammatory, we propose that such distributions of Ti are likely to effect to the service life of the device.

Journal Keywords: Titanium; Crevice Corrosion; Microfocus Spectroscopy

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials, Materials, Medicine

Instruments: I18-Microfocus Spectroscopy