Effect of PMMA particles and movement on an implant interface in a canine model

L. C. Jones, C. Frondoza, D. S. Hungerford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The pathogenesis of aseptic loosening of total joint prostheses is not clearly understood. Two features are associated with loosened prostheses, namely, particulate debris and movement of the implant. While numerous studies have evaluated the cellular response to particulate biomaterials, few have investigated the influence of movement of the implant on the biological response to particles. Our aim was therefore to test the hypothesis that excessive mechanical stimulation of the periprosthetic tissues induces an inflammatory response and that the addition of particulate biomaterials intensifies this. We allocated 66 adult Beagle dogs to four groups as follows: stable implants with (I) and without (II) particulate polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and moving implants with (III) and without (IV) particulate PMMA. They were then evaluated at 2, 4, 6, 12 and 24 weeks. The stable implants were well tolerated and a thin, fibrous membrane of connective tissue was observed. There was evidence of positive staining in some cells for interleukin-6 (IL-6). Addition of particulate PMMA around the stable implants resulted in an increase in the fibroblastic response and positive staining for IL-6 and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). By contrast, movement of the implant resulted in an immediate inflammatory response characterised by large numbers of histiocytes and cytokine staining for IL-1β, TNF-α and IL-6. Introduction of particulate PMMA aggravated this response. Animals with particulate PMMA and movement of the implant have an intense inflammatory response associated with accelerated bone loss. Our results indicate that the initiation of the inflammatory response to biomaterial particles was much slower than that to gross mechanical instability. Furthermore, when there was both particulate debris and movement, there was an amplification of the adverse tissue response as evidences by the presence of osteolysis and increases in the presence of inflammatory cells and their associated cytokines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-458
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series B
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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