Method: Synchrotron X-ray microfocus spectroscopy

Synchrotron X-ray microfocus spectroscopy was used to investigate and to detect trace distributions of Ti in thin tissue sections at a high resolution. This investigation has demonstrated, for the first time, a scattered and heterogeneous distribution of Ti in inflamed tissues taken from around failing skin-penetrating Ti implants. The tissue taken was adjacent to a CPTi device that was not exposed to obvious macroscopic wear or loading in service. Furthermore, the location of the distributed Ti, which was deep with respect to the skin surface, suggests that wear processes are unlikely to be a major contributor. Debris from implant insertion is highly unlikely to lead to the observed widespread distribution of fine fragments of both oxide and metal. In the absence of obvious macroscopic wear or loading processes, this paper proposes that the Ti in the tissue results from micro-motion and localized corrosion in surface crevices.

Addison O et al, Birmingham Univ, Do ‘passive’ medical titanium surfaces deteriorate in service in the absence of wear? J R Soc. Interface 2012, Vol 9, 3161-3164

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