Wear behavior and in vitro cytotoxicity of wear debris generated from hydroxyapatite-carbon nanotube composite coating

J Biomed Mater Res A. 2011 Jan;96(1):1-12. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.32952. Epub 2010 Oct 13.


This work evaluates the effect of carbon nanotube (CNT) addition to plasma-sprayed hydroxyapatite (HA) coating on its tribological behavior, biocompatibility of the coating, and cytotoxicity of CNT-containing wear debris. Biological response of the CNT-containing wear debris is critical for osteoblasts, the bone-forming cells, and macrophages, the cells that clear up wear debris from blood stream. The addition of 4 wt % CNTs to HA coating reduces the volume of wear debris generation by 80% because of the improved elastic modulus and fracture toughness. CNT reinforcement has a pronounced effect on the particle size in the wear debris and subsequent biological response. There was a slight increase in the numbers and viability of osteoblasts grown on HA-CNT compared with HA alone. The cytotoxic effect of HA and HA-CNT debris to macrophages and osteoblasts was similar, demonstrating that loose CNT does not pose a problem to these cells.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Survival
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible / chemistry*
  • Durapatite / chemistry*
  • Elastic Modulus
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Materials Testing
  • Nanotubes, Carbon / chemistry*
  • Osteoblasts / cytology
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism
  • Particle Size
  • Prosthesis Failure*


  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible
  • Nanotubes, Carbon
  • Durapatite