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Metallurgical SEM analysis provides many insights into the failure of biomedical materials and devices. The results of several such investigations are reported here, including findings and conclusions from the examination a total hip prosthesis, stainless steel and titanium compression plates, and hollow spinal rods. Some of the failure mechanisms that were identified include corrosive attack, corrosion plus erosion-corrosion, inclusions and stress gaps, production impurities, design flaws, and manufacturing defects. Failure prevention and mitigation strategies are also discussed.

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