Toxicology of wear particles of cobalt-chromium alloy metal-on-metal hip implants Part II: Importance of physicochemical properties and dose in animal and in vitro studies as a basis for risk assessment

Nanomedicine. 2015 Jul;11(5):1285-98. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2015.02.006. Epub 2015 Feb 28.


The objective of the Part II analysis was to evaluate animal and in vitro toxicology studies of CoCr particles with respect to their physicochemistry and dose relevance to metal-on-metal (MoM) implant patients as derived from Part I. In the various toxicology studies, physicochemical characteristics were infrequently considered and administered doses were orders of magnitude higher than what occurs in patients. Co was consistently shown to rapidly release from CoCr particles for distribution and elimination from the body. CoCr micron sized particles appear more biopersistent in vivo resulting in inflammatory responses that are not seen with similar mass concentrations of nanoparticles. We conclude, that in an attempt to obtain data for a complete risk assessment, future studies need to focus on physicochemical characteristics of nano and micron sized particles and on doses and dose metrics relevant to those generated in patients or in properly conducted hip simulator studies.

Keywords: Cobalt-chromium; Hip implant; Metal-on-metal; Wear debris.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromium Alloys / administration & dosage
  • Chromium Alloys / chemistry
  • Chromium Alloys / pharmacokinetics
  • Chromium Alloys / toxicity*
  • Cobalt / administration & dosage
  • Cobalt / chemistry
  • Cobalt / pharmacokinetics
  • Cobalt / toxicity*
  • Hip Prosthesis / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Particle Size
  • Risk Assessment


  • Chromium Alloys
  • Cobalt