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Addit Manuf. 2019 Aug;28:312-324. doi: 10.1016/j.addma.2019.04.020. Epub 2019 May 2.

Additively manufactured calcium phosphate reinforced CoCrMo alloy: Bio-tribological and biocompatibility evaluation for load-bearing implants.

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W. M. Keck Biomedical Materials Research Laboratory, School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.


Cobalt-chromium-molybdenum (CoCrMo) alloys are widely used in load-bearing implants; specifically, in hip, knee, and spinal applications due to their excellent wear resistance. However, due to in vivo corrosion and mechanically assisted corrosion, metal ion release occurs and accounts for poor biocompatibility. Therefore, a significant interest to find an alternative to CoCrMo alloy exists. In the present work we hypothesize that calcium phosphate (CaP) will behave as a solid lubricant in CoCrMo alloy under tribological testing, thereby minimizing wear and metal ion release concerns associated with CoCrMo alloy. CoCrMo-CaP composite coatings were processed using laser engineered net shaping (LENS™) system. After LENS™ processing, CoCrMo alloy was subjected to laser surface melting (LSM) using the same LENS™ set-up. Samples were investigated for microstructural features, phase identification, and biocompatibility. It was found that LSM treated CoCrMo improved wear resistance by 5 times. CoCrMo-CaP composites displayed the formation of a phosphorus-based tribofilm. In vitro cell-material interactions study showed no cytotoxic effect. Sprague-Dawley rat and rabbit in vivo study displayed increased osteoid formation for CoCrMo-CaP composites, up to 2 wt.% CaP. Our results show that careful surface modification treatments can simultaneously improve wear resistance and in vivo biocompatibility of CoCrMo alloy, which can correlate to a reduction of metal ion release in vivo.


CoCrMo alloys; load-bearing implants; metal ion release; surface modification; tribofilms

[Available on 2020-08-01]

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