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The endoprostheses made of cobalt-chromium-molybdenum (Co-Cr-Mo) alloys belong to the group of the most popular metallic implants used for reconstruction of hip joints. For such biomaterials, the primary goal is a correct and long-term functioning in the aggressive environment of body fluids. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine both the morphology and the corrosion resistance of implants made of the cobalt alloy used in Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) system (Smith & Nephew). For comparative purposes, the electrochemical studies were done for the nitrided stainless steel - Orthinox. Observations of the microstructure of the material under investigation were performed by means of the optical metallographic microscope and the scanning electron microscope. Furthermore, Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy was used to analyse the chemical composition of the endoprosthesis. Characterisation and evaluation of electrochemical corrosion resistance of the selected alloys were performed by potentiodynamic polarisation tests. The structural studies confirmed that Co-Cr-Mo (BHR system) is characterised by a typical dendritic microstructure with carbide precipitates, mainly M23C6, within the interdendritic areas. The results of the polarisation measurements showed that the cobalt alloy investigated exhibits lower corrosion potential than Orthinox in the utilised environments (3% NaCl, simulated body fluid - Hank's Body Fluid). However, the high passivation ability of the Co-Cr-Mo alloy, as well as its resistance to the initiation and propagation of localised corrosion processes, indicate that this material is significantly more appropriate for long-term implants.

Citation

Ewa Dobruchowska, Monika Paziewska, Krzysztof Przybyl, Kazimierz Reszka. Structure and corrosion resistance of Co-Cr-Mo alloy used in Birmingham Hip Resurfacing system. Acta of bioengineering and biomechanics. 2017;19(2):31-39

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PMID: 28869636

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