[Allergic potential of titanium implants]

Orthopade. 2005 Apr;34(4):327-8, 330-3. doi: 10.1007/s00132-005-0764-2.
[Article in German]


Aim: The aim of this investigation is to evaluate the allergic potential of titanium and titanium alloys for surgical implant applications.

Materials and methods: Discs cut from rods supplied by five different titanium suppliers in several diameters were investigated. The samples were cp-Titanium as well as Ti6Al4 V and Ti6Al7Nb, 6 mm thick with a diameter of between 6 and 60 mm. The material was checked by optical spectral analysis.

Results: In all samples except iodidtitanium, a Nickel content of 0.012-0,034 wt% could be detected.

Conclusion: The low nickel content in the implant material results from the production process. The nickel atoms are in solid solution in the titanium lattice. Nickel allergic patients may develop hypersensitivity reactions even due to this low nickel content. Hence, this reaction may be falsely attributed to the titanium material itself. Measurements of ion concentration in the body are helpful for quantifying the maximum content of nickel in titanium materials for surgical implant applications. In addition, technical questions related to the production of nickel free titanium materials for allergic patients have to be solved.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Biocompatible Materials / adverse effects*
  • Biocompatible Materials / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Materials Testing
  • Nickel / adverse effects*
  • Nickel / analysis*
  • Prostheses and Implants / adverse effects
  • Prosthesis Failure*
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Titanium / analysis*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Nickel
  • Titanium