Distribution of metal released from cobalt–chromium alloy orthopaedic wear particles implanted into air pouches in mice

Grace Afolaranmi, Moeed Akbar, James Brewer, Mary Grant

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    25 Citations (Scopus)


    Metal-on-metal hip replacement implants generate wear debris and release ions both locally and systemically in patients. To investigate dissemination of metal, we determined blood and organ levels of cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), and molybdenum (Mo) following the implantation of Co–Cr alloy wear debris in mice using skin pouches as a model system. We observed increased metal levels in blood for up to 72 h; the levels of Co were highest and remained elevated for 7 days. Co levels were elevated in all organs studied (liver, kidney, spleen, lung, heart, brain, and testes), with the peak at 48 h; highest levels were measured in liver and kidney (838.9 ± 223.7 ng/g in liver, and 938.8 ± 131.6 ng/g in kidney). Organ Cr levels were considerably lower than Co levels, for example, Cr in kidney was 117.2 ± 12.6 ng/g tissue at 48 h. Co is more mobile than Cr, reaching higher levels at earlier time points. This could be due to local tissue binding of Cr. Exposure to Co–Cr particles in vivo altered antioxidant enzyme expression and activities. We observed induction of catalase protein in the liver and glutathione reductase (GR) and peroxidase (GPx) proteins in the spleen. Activities of catalase and GPx in the liver were significantly increased while that of GR was decreased in the kidney. Organs of mice with Co–Cr particle implantation were exposed to increased metal levels capable of inducing reactive oxygen species scavenging enzymes, suggesting the tissue may be subjected to oxidative stress; however, the overall antioxidant defence system was not markedly disturbed. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A, 2012.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1529–1538
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A
    Issue number6
    Early online date15 Mar 2012
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


    • cobalt
    • chromium
    • orthopaedic wear


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