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Cobalt-chrome, sometimes called cobalt-chromium, is a unique alloy of cobalt and chromium metals. Cobalt-chromium exhibits very high specific strength, resists oxidation and corrosion, and offers excellent biocompatibility. These characteristics make cobalt-chrome an ideal material for implantable medical devices. Common biomedical cobalt-chrome applications include dental implants, orthopedic implants, and coronary stents.
Physical Properties of Biomedical Cobalt-Chrome
- High strength: 600/1140 MPa
- High stiffness: 200 GPa
- Excellent fatigue resistance
- Good corrosion resistance
- Excellent biocompatibility
- Can be radiopaque
- Composition: 1-15% iron, 15-35% nickel, 20% chromium, 40-50% cobalt, balance molybdenum, manganese, and tungsten
Advantages of Using Cobalt-Chromium for Medical Implants
Many medical procedures that once relied on stainless steel or titanium implants are now using implantable cobalt-chrome instead. Compared to stainless steel, cobalt-chromium offers multiple advantages.
- Stronger: Biomedical cobalt-chrome is stronger than stainless steel and titanium, allowing for thinner, lighter, and less obtrusive implantables.
- Denser: Cobalt-chromium is denser than 316 stainless steel, allowing for greater radiopacity despite reduced dimensions
- Better MRI compatibility: Because it contains very little iron content, implantable cobalt-chrome is non-ferromagnetic and therefore more MRI-compatible than stainless steel
Implantable Cobalt-Chrome Applications
In addition to high strength, cobalt-chromium also offers excellent wear fatigue characteristics. This combination makes the material ideal for high-use load-bearing applications such as knee and hip implants, as well as other orthopedic procedures. Implantable cobalt-chrome materials are commonly used in:
- Hip implants
- Knee, foot, and ankle implants
- Spine implants
- Shoulder, elbow, hand, and wrist implants
- Dentures and dental implants
- Coronary stents
- and more
Braided Cobalt-Chromium for Stents
Thanks to cobalt-chromium’s high strength, it can be formed into thinner stent struts than stainless steel or other commonly used materials without sacrificing radial strength. This results in thinner overall profiles for these stents, making them easier to navigate through challenging anatomies.
Custom Biomedical Cobalt-Chrome Structures from US BioDesign
At US BioDesign, we specialize in manufacturing implantable cobalt-chrome structures for medical procedures. Our braided cobalt-chromium tubes and cables can be customized to meet your unique performance and application requirements. We work with incredibly thin cobalt-chrome fibers—just a few hundred micrometers across—to produce braided biomedical cobalt-chrome structures that offer strength and flexibility for easy deliverability, alongside durability to last throughout short-term to permanent implantation.
Our experts will work with you to develop a custom implantable cobalt-chrome solution for your specific application. We are ISO 13485:2016 registered.
Contact Us for Implantable Cobalt-Chrome Solutions
For orthopedic implants, dental procedures, stents, and more, we can provide the right cobalt-chromium structure for your unique needs. Contact US BioDesign to learn more about our biomedical cobalt-chrome solutions, or request a quote to get started on your project. Additionally, please browse our Virtual Sample Kit for inspiration from samples of our technology.