Toxicological assessment of implant materials

We are investigating the causes of aseptic implant failure due to wear and corrosion to keep patients‘ safety high

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Representative TEM image of nanoscale wear particles from a stemmed, cementless hip implant with metal-on-metal articulation.

Besides septic complications, another major problem in joint arthroplasty is early aseptic implant failure induced by wear and corrosion products from implant materials. To identify the responsible trigger and its thresholds for adverse effects, we established methods to assess the exposure to metallic wear products in intraoperatively harvested samples. This comprises metal level determination in various tissues of the periprosthetic region as well as the physicochemical characterization of in vivo generated wear particles. Furthermore, we analyze primary cells of the musculoskeletal system in a setup for cytotoxicity testing, to evaluate the cells’ functionality and viability after in vivo exposure to wear products or after in vitro exposure in clinically relevant metal concentrations. By learning more about the biocompatibility of commonly and newly used orthopedic implant materials, we follow the overall aim to keep patients' safety high.