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Open AccessArticle

Surface Properties of Retrieved Cementless Femoral Hip Endoprostheses Produced from a Ti6Al7Nb Alloy

1
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University Medical Centre, Zaloška 9, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2
MD-RI Institute for Materials Research in Medicine, Bohoričeva 5, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
3
Institute of Metals and Technology, Lepi pot 11, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
4
Jožef Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
5
MD Medicina, Bohoričeva 5, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2019, 9(12), 868; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9120868
Received: 6 November 2019 / Revised: 2 December 2019 / Accepted: 11 December 2019 / Published: 17 December 2019
We have investigated new and retrieved cementless hip endoprostheses that prematurely failed due to (i) aseptic loosening, (ii) infection and (iii) latent infection. The aim was to better understand the physico-chemical phenomena on the surfaces and sub-surfaces of the Ti6Al7Nb alloy implant. The results of our studies should enable us to distinguish the causes of premature failure, optimize the surface modification, achieve optimal osseointegration and extend the useful lifetime of the implants. The surface properties of the Ti6Al7Nb alloys of the hip-stem endoprostheses (30 retrieved and 2 new) were determined by contact-angle measurements and the average surface roughness. The surface chemistry and microstructure were analysed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) for morphology, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) for the chemistry, and electron back-scatter diffraction (EBSD) for the phase analysis; Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) for the surface chemistry; and electrochemical measurements for the corrosion. The improved wettability of the grit-blasted surface of the Ti6Al7Nb stems after autoclaving was measured, as was the super wettability after oxygen-plasma sterilization. The secondary-electron images showed that the morphology and microstructure of the new and retrieved stems (prematurely failed due to aseptic loosening, infection and latent infection) differ slightly, while the EDS analysis revealed corundum contamination of the grit-blasted surface. We found corundum-contaminated Ti6Al7Nb stem surfaces and sub-surfaces for all the investigated new and retrieved implants. These residues are a potential problem, i.e., third-body wear particles, and probably induce the osteolysis and aseptic loosening. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ti6Al7Nb alloy; premature hip endoprostheses failure; osseointegration; corundum contamination; corrosion; scanning electron microscopy (SEM); energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS); Auger electron spectroscopy (AES); X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) Ti6Al7Nb alloy; premature hip endoprostheses failure; osseointegration; corundum contamination; corrosion; scanning electron microscopy (SEM); energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS); Auger electron spectroscopy (AES); X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)
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Avsec, K.; Jenko, M.; Conradi, M.; Kocijan, A.; Vesel, A.; Kovač, J.; Godec, M.; Belič, I.; Šetina Batič, B.; Donik, Č.; Gorenšek, M.; Kocjančič, B.; Dolinar, D. Surface Properties of Retrieved Cementless Femoral Hip Endoprostheses Produced from a Ti6Al7Nb Alloy. Coatings 2019, 9, 868.

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