The Bone & Joint Journal Vol. 102-B, No. 7_Supple_B

In vitro effects of macrophages on orthopaedic implant alloys and local release of metallic alloy components

G. Heise, C. M. Black, R. Smith, B. R. Morrow, W. M. Mihalko
Ankle Elbow Hip Knee Shoulder Wrist


This study aimed to determine if macrophages can attach and directly affect the oxide layers of 316L stainless steel, titanium alloy (Ti6Al4V), and cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloy (CoCrMo) by releasing components of these alloys.


Murine peritoneal macrophages were cultured and placed on stainless steel, CoCrMo, and Ti6Al4V discs into a 96-well plate. Cells were activated with interferon gamma and lipopolysaccharide. Macrophages on stainless steel discs produced significantly more nitric oxide (NO) compared to their control counterparts after eight to ten days and remained elevated for the duration of the experiment.


On stainless steel, both nonactivated and activated cell groups were shown to have a significant increase in metal ion release for Cr, Fe, and Ni (p < 0.001, p = 0.002, and p = 0.020 respectively) compared with medium only and showed macrophage-sized corrosive pits on the stainless steel surface. On titanium alloy discs there was a significant increase in aluminum (p < 0.001) among all groups compared with medium only.


These results indicated that macrophages were able to attach to and affect the oxide surface of stainless steel and titanium alloy discs.


Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2020;102-B(7 Supple B):116–121.

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