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Biomedical Magnesium Alloys: A review of material properties, surface modifications and potential as a biodegradable orthopaedic implant

Poinern, G.E.J., Brundavanam, S. and Fawcett, D. (2012) Biomedical Magnesium Alloys: A review of material properties, surface modifications and potential as a biodegradable orthopaedic implant. American Journal of Biomedical Engineering, 2 (6). pp. 218-240.

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Abstract

Magnesium and magnesium based alloys are lightweight metallic materials that are extremely biocompatible and have similar mechanical properties to natural bone. These materials have the potential to function as an osteoconductive and biodegradable substitute in load bearing applications in the field of hard tissue engineering. However, the effects of corrosion and degradation in the physiological environment of the body has prevented their wide spread application to date. The aim of this review is to examine the properties, chemical stability, degradation in situ and methods of improving the corrosion resistance of magnesium and its alloys for potential application in the orthopaedic field. To be an effective implant, the surface and sub-surface properties of the material needs to be carefully selected so that the degradation kinetics of the implant can be efficiently controlled. Several surface modification techniques are presented and their effectiveness in reducing the corrosion rate and methods of controlling the degradation period are discussed. Ideally, balancing the gradual loss of material and mechanical strength during degradation, with the increasing strength and stability of the newly forming bone tissue is the ultimate goal. If this goal can be achieved, then orthopaedic implants manufactured from magnesium based alloys have the potential to deliver successful clinical outcomes without the need for revision surgery.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
Publisher: Scientific & Academic Publishing
Copyright: © 2012 Scientific & Academic Publishing.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/17572
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