Hip replacement can provide great relief for patients with damaged hips, reducing pain and discomfort associated with everyday activities. Unfortunately, hip implants can also result in implant failure. The recent metal-on-metal hip recalls have demonstrated the risks of metal debris that is released due to joint wear, causing tissue damage and inflammation. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham aim to make metal implants safer by coating them with nanodiamond particles.
In a study published in the journal Acta Biomaterialia, researchers demonstrated that nanodiamonds are nontoxic in living cells. Although the nanodiamonds also shed particles, these should be safer than the metal particles, the research indicates. Studies of the particles interacting with macrophages—scavenging immune cells that absorb the particles—suggest that the particles release fewer inflammatory chemicals than metal.
Further research is needed to determine if the nanodiamonds indeed could prevent inflammation and lead to safer metal hip implants.Camilla Andersson