Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Immune reaction to metal debris leads to early failure of joint implants

Debris triggers danger signals that lead to inflammation

Researchers at Rush University Medical Center have identified a key immunological defense reaction to the metals in joint replacement devices, leading to loosening of the components and early failure.

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, won the annual William H. Harris, MD Award for scientific merit from the Orthopaedic Research Society. Currently posted online, it is expected to be published in the June issue of the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.

Over 600,000 total joint replacements are performed in the United States each year. The vast majority are successful and last well over 10 years. But in up to 10 percent of patients, the metal components loosen, requiring the patient to undergo a second surgery.

The loosening is often caused by localized inflammation, an immune reaction to tiny particles of debris from the components themselves as they rub against one another. No infection is involved.

"As soon as joint replacement devices are implanted, they begin to corrode and wear away, releasing particles and ions that ultimately signal danger to the body's immune system," said Nadim Hallab, associate professor at Rush University Medical Center and the study author.

There are two different types of inflammatory pathways: one that reacts to foreign bodies like bacteria and viruses, which cause an infection, and another that reacts to "sterile" or non-living danger signals, including ultraviolet light and oxidative stress.

This is the first time that researchers have shown that debris and ions from implants trigger this danger-signaling pathway.

According to Hallab, when specialized cells of the immune system, called macrophages, encounter this metallic debris, they "engulf it in sacs called lysosomes and try to get rid of the debris by digesting it with enzymes." But the particles damage the lysosomes, Hallab said, "and the cells start screaming 'danger.'"

These danger signals are detected by large complexes of proteins, called inflammasomes. The inflammasomes mobilize, precipitating a chain of chemical events that cause inflammation.

The researchers are hopeful that identification of this molecular pathway that triggers inflammation without infection could lead to new and specific therapeutic strategies to avoid the early failure of joint replacements.

Other researchers at Rush involved in the study were Marco Caicedo, Ronak Desai, Kyron McAllister, Dr. Anand Reddy, and Dr. Joshua Jacobs.

Sharon Butler | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Physicists made crystal lattice from polaritons

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Thawing permafrost produces more methane than expected

20.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>