1664 THE JOURNAL OF BONE AND JOINT SURGERY Isolation and Characterization of Debris in Membranes around Total Joint Prostheses*


ABSTRACT: Particles of wear debris have been im-plicated in osteolysis around and aseptic loosening of total joint prostheses, but the number and size distri-bution of particles present in periprosthetic tissues are unknown. A method of particle assay was developed, consisting of nitric-acid digestion of tissue followed by collection of particles, electronic quantitation, and par-allel morphological and chemical characterization. Ni-tric acid had minimum deleterious effects on control samples of titanium, cobalt-chromium alloy, and poly-ethylene particles, as determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and elec-tronic measurements of the sizes of the particles. Acid digestion of twelve control samples of tissue, including tissue rich in hemosiderin, resulted in particle count

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