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More research needed into nanoparticles released from hip implants, says JRC

Further research is needed into long-term exposure to nanomaterials released from metallic hip implants, according to a report from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC).

Every year about one million patients worldwide undergo total hip arthroplasty (THA) surgery to replace both articulated surfaces of a hip joint. For metal-on-metal prostheses, there are concerns over the “unclear role of long-term exposure to metal ions released into the human body,” says the report. These ions include chromium and cobalt.

There is also increased awareness that the size of the released wear debris is in the range of nanometres and that nanotoxicity effects may have to be considered. The presence of nanosized metallic particles may amplify any toxicity of wear debris, says the report.

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