Effect of synovial fluid, phosphate-buffered saline solution, and water on the dissolution and corrosion properties of CoCrMo alloys as used in orthopedic implants

A.C. Lewis, Matt Kilburn, I. Papageorgiou, G.C. Allen, C.P. Case

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The corrosion and dissolution of high- and low-carbon CoCrMo alloys, as used in orthopedic joint replacements, were studied by immersing samples in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), water, and synovial fluid at 37° C for up to 35 days. Bulk properties were analyzed with a fine ion beam microscope. Surface analyses by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Auger electron spectroscopy showed surprisingly that synovial fluid produced a thin oxide/hydroxide layer. Release of ions into solution from the alloy also followed an unexpected pattern where synovial fluid, of all the samples, had the highest Cr concentration but the lowest Co concentration. The presence of carbide inclusions in the alloy did not affect the corrosion or the dissolution mechanisms, although the carbides were a significant feature on the metal surface. Only one mechanism was recognized as controlling the thickness of the oxide/hydroxide interface. The analysis of the dissolved metal showed two mechanisms at work: (1) a protein film caused ligand-induced dissolution, increasing the Cr concentration in synovial fluid, and was explained by the equilibrium constants; (2) corrosion at the interface increased the Co in PBS. The effect of prepassivating the samples (ASTM F-86-01) did not always have the desired effect of reducing dissolution. The release of Cr into PBS increased after prepassivation. The metal-synovial fluid interface did not contain calcium phosphate as a deposit, typically found where samples are exposed to calcium rich bodily fluids. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-467
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A
Volume73A
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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