Many orthopaedic implants are made of stainless steel or cobalt–chrome alloys which degrade in vivo, releasing metal ions and particles into the body. This can lead to loosening of prostheses through local inflammatory processes and toxicity to adjacent tissues. Cr VI is one of the most toxic ions released from metal implants, and concentrations up to 2 mM have been measured in tissues samples adjacent to retrieved implants (Blumenthal et al., 1994). It is well recognised as a carcinogen in man (Langard, 1983) although the mechanism of action is undetermined. In this study Cr VI toxicity to macrophages was assessed in vitro using the J774.1 murine macrophage cell line.
- mouse macrophages
- hexavalent chromium