ACA WA Branch Technical Meeting March 4th 2020 – Dr Moreica Pabbruwe, Biomedical Engineer, Centre for Implant Technology and Retrieval Analysis (CITRA), Royal Perth Hospital.
Dr Moreica Pabbruwe delivered an excellent presentation to a captive audience in the Atrium Theatre, 168 St Georges Terrace, Perth. Her topic, “Corrosion in Medical Devices: What we have learned from Retrieval Studies”, is of great public interest due to an escalating use of medical implants in patients that is driven by obesity and an aging population. CITRA offers a state-wide service evaluating retrieved implants using various techniques to understand factors affecting their clinical performance. This service has been provided for over 40 years and has created a bank of samples which adds to the knowledge base. The main goal of Moreica’s research is to gain information that can be used in the development of better biomaterials and implants with improved properties. Moreica indicated the importance of her research by the number of hip (49,764) and knee (65,266) replacement surgeries performed in Australia in 2018-2019. A number that is expected to rise 276% by 2030, costing Australia’s health care system over $5 billion. A feature of the evening was the show and tell of a number of different implants during her presentation. The use of modular parts in joint replacements offers ease and flexibility to the surgeon during an operation but can create greater corrosion issues. Although corrosion of implants is rare, it can take place due to a number of mechanisms, including: dissimilar metal corrosion, erosion/corrosion, allergic reactions, microbiologically influenced corrosion and a combinations of these processes.
We would like to thank Moreica for her brilliant and entertaining seminar. The extra effort involved in arranging such interesting implant specimens for the audience to inspect was much appreciated.