Study on Metal Hip Parts Finds Unusual Surface Coating
6. January 2012
Research done by the National Institutes of Health on metal-on-metal hip implants found that the friction between moving parts often creates a surface coating that contains graphite carbon, something more commonly used in industrial lubricants.
The study was funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, both of which are part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Previous research by several of the study’s authors found that friction of metallic joints creates a layer of lubrication on their surface. They assumed the proteins in the body entered the artificial joint and developed a layer of lubricant much like that of a natural joint. However, when the team of researchers in the current study analyzed the lubricant layer found on hip implants removed from patients, they found graphite carbon is a main ingredient.