The safety of metal hip implants could be improved by nanodiamond coatings, a study by University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers has found. Although the coating itself could also shed particles, it appears that these are nontoxic and therefore safer than metal particles. By studying the nanodiamond particles interacting with macrophages in a dish, researchers concluded that the debris from the nanodiamonds should not cause toxicity or inflammation. Metal particle shedding releases metal ions into the bloodstream, which can cause inflammation and damage to the muscle and bone, as massive recalls by companies such as DePuy shows.
Read more in a medtechinsider blog post on the study.