Blood Titanium Research

Titanium metal is used extensively to manufacture spine, hip and knee implants and is regarded as one of the safest and most biocompatible implant materials in use. The recent and rapid adoption of 3D printing technology however has seen titanium being used in orthopaedic implants in a new way (from a starting powder). Additionally, our research of the performance of magnetically controlled growing rods (MCGRs) for children with early onset scoliosis (EOS), has demonstrated a risk of titanium wear/corrosion debris being generated. 

Blood Titanium as a Biomarker for Implant Function

We are running research studies to understand if measuring the levels of titanium ions in blood samples from patients with titanium based implants, can be used as an indicator of how the implant is performing in the patient. Our review paper on the subject is available to read here.

Research Prize at the British Scoliosis Society Meeting

One of our three podium talks at the annual meeting (Edinburgh, November 2022) of the British Scoliosis Society (BSS), was awarded the BSS Prize of Best Scientific Oral Presentation out of the 40 talks presented. This described our research demonstrating that patients implanted with MCGRs, and 3D printed titanium hip implants, have greater levels of titanium ions in their blood, when compared to baseline levels previously published by our group. 

BSS 2022.png

The full peer-reviewed publication of this work is available to read for open-access here.

Reference Blood Titanium Levels

We are the first to propose a laboratory reference level for blood and plasma titanium in patients with well-functioning titanium hip implants. The upper normal reference limit for blood titanium was 2.20 ppb, and did not differ significantly between males and females. This is an essential starting point for further studies to explore the clinical usefulness of blood titanium as a biomarker of orthopaedic implant performance. 

The full peer-reviewed publication of this work is available to read here.