Effects of serum protein opsonization on cytokine release by titanium- alloy particles

William J. Maloney, Doo Hoon Sun, Yasuharu Nakashima, Ron James, R. Lane Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


This study tested whether macrophages respond differently to retrieved titanium-alloy particles than they do to machined titanium-alloy particles and assessed whether pretreatment of machined titanium-alloy particles with human serum would influence macrophage activation and cytokine release in vitro. Human monocyte/macrophages were isolated from normal healthy donors and exposed to increasing concentrations of machined and retrieved titanium- alloy particles. The profile of cytokine release was determined by commercially available ELISA kits. Machined titanium-alloy particles were opsonized with human serum and added to macrophage cultures. Serum protein binding was confirmed by SDS-PAGE analysis. The results showed that machined titanium-alloy particles and retrieved titanium-alloy particles stimulate a similar level of cytokine release when tested at comparable concentrations. Opsonization of the machined particles with human serum increased the macrophage release of cytokines in the first 12 h after exposure compared to nonopsonized particles. At 24 h, the opsonized particles stimulated significantly higher levels of cytokine release, but only at the greatest particle concentrations. This study demonstrates that machined titanium alloy induces a metabolic response in macrophages similar to that of titanium- alloy particles retrieved from failed total hip arthroplasty. In addition, these data show that serum protein binding to orthopedic biomaterial debris alters the macrophage reaction to the particles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-376
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 5 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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