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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 283038, 10 pages
Research Article

Does Metal Transfer Differ on Retrieved Ceramic and CoCr Femoral Heads?

1Implant Research Center, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
2Exponent, Inc., Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
3Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
4Center for Joint Preservation and Replacement, The Rubin Institute of Advanced Orthopedics, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD 21215, USA
5The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
6Hartzband Center for Hip and Knee Replacement, Paramus, NJ 07652, USA
7Center for the Evaluation of Implant Performance, Departments of Orthopaedics and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA

Received 3 April 2015; Revised 13 July 2015; Accepted 28 July 2015

Academic Editor: Kengo Yamamoto

Copyright © 2015 Eliza K. Fredette et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Metal transfer has been observed on retrieved THA femoral heads for both CoCr and ceramic bearing materials. In vitro wear testing has shown increased wear to polyethylene acetabular liners with the presence of metal transfer. This study sought to investigate the extent of metal transfer on the bearing surface of CoCr and ceramic femoral heads and identify prevalent morphologies. Three bearing couple cohorts: M-PE (), C-PE (), and C-C (), were derived from two previously matched collections (/group) of CoCr and ceramic femoral heads. From the three cohorts, 75% of the femoral heads showed visual evidence of metal transfer. These femoral heads were analyzed using direct measurement, digital photogrammetry, and white light interferometry. Surface area coverage and curved median surface area were similar among the three cohorts. The most prevalent metal transfer patterns observed were random stripes (), longitudinal stripes (), and random patches (). Metal transfer arc length was shorter in the M-PE cohort. Understanding the morphology of metal transfer may be useful for more realistic recreation of metal transfer in in vitro pin-on-disk and joint simulators studies.