Long-Term Health Risks Associated with Genotoxic Nanoparticles Released by Failing Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants
July 15, 2012 — By Cameron Chai
A recently published study on failing metal-to-metal hip implant devices reveals that the genotoxic nanoparticles released could cause severe damage to cell DNA.
The study carried out by a team of researchers from Ohio State University and Imperial College, London and published in the online journal of Chemical Communications identified the genotoxic nanoparticles to be not only responsible for inflammation commonly found in hip implant patients but also as a potential source of long-term health risks.
The research team employed high resolution electron and x-ray microscopy to study tissue samples from patients of failing metal-to-metal hip implants for identifying the causes of chronic inflammation suffered by them. They discovered that the inflammation was a result of oxidation of residual chromium shed when the metal implants rub against each other and the release of Cobalt 2+ ions as a result of nanoparticle corrosion in the tissue.
Previous studies have established the genotoxicity of Cobalt 2+ ions. The worldwide recall of ASR Hip Resurfacing System and ASR Acetabular System by DePuy Orthopaedics in August 2010 fuelled concerns regarding side effects of metal-on-metal hip plants. Numerous studies subsequent to the recall show proof of significant health risks such as long term disability, need for corrective surgery, device failure and tissue damage.
A recent U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) report shows that failure rate is the highest for metal-on-metal hip implants amongst all hip implant devices. U.S. national law firm, Parker Waichman LLP, is representing the victims of failed metal-to-metal hip implants in the DePuy, Zimmer, Biomet and Smith & Nephew metal-on-metal hip implant lawsuits.
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