In vitro corrosion and in vivo response to zinc implants with electropolished and anodized surfaces

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Zinc (Zn)-based biodegradable metals have been widely investigated for cardiovascular stent and orthopedic applications. However, the effect of Zn surface features on adverse biological responses has not been well established. Here, we hypothesized that a metallic zinc implant’s surface oxide film character may critically influence early neointimal growth and development. Electropolishing of surfaces has become the industry standard for metallic stents, while anodization of surfaces, although not practiced on stents at present, could increase the thickness of the stable oxide film and delay early-stage implant degradation. In this study, pure zinc samples were electropolished (EP) and anodized (AD) to engineer oxide films with distinctive physical and degradation characteristics, as determined by potentiodynamic polarization, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and static immersion tests. The samples were then implanted within the aortic lumen of adult Sprague–Dawley rats to determine the influence of surface engineering on biocompatibility responses to Zn implants. It was found that in vitro corrosion produced a porous corrosion layer for the EP samples and a densified layer on the AD samples. The AD material was more resistant to corrosion, while localized corrosion and pitting was seen on the EP surface. Interestingly, the increased variability from localized corrosion due to the surface film character translated directly to the in vivo performance, where 100% of the AD implants but only 44% of the EP implants met the biocompatibility benchmarks. Overall, the results suggest that oxide films on degradable zinc critically affect early neointimal progression and overall success of degradable Zn materials.

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© 2019 American Chemical Society. Publisher's version of record: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.9b05370

Supporting Data

© 2019 American Chemical Society. Publisher's version of record: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.9b05370

Publication Title

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces