Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Biomedical Engineering

Advisor 1

Jeremy Goldman

Advisor 2

Jaroslaw Drelich

Committee Member 1

Megan Frost

Committee Member 2

Feng Zhao

Committee Member 3

Shu Q. Liu


Biodegradable stents based on zinc have been under development since their introduction in 2013. While metallic zinc is highly ductile, it unfortunately lacks the mechanical strength required for arterial stents. This has led to the development of an abundance of novel zinc-based materials, with the aim of improving the mechanical strength without sacrificing too much ductility. Although these materials are intended to function and slowly degrade within an artery, most zinc-based materials have been developed without deep consideration for their biological effects.

The present work explores the biological effects elicited by zinc-based materials implanted within the arterial system. The biological effects of degradable arterial implants were characterized in terms of quantifiable metrics, including neointimal area, implant to lumen thickness, and base neointimal length. These metrics were used to clarify relationships between material characteristics, including surface oxide film stability, elemental composition, and microstructure, with biological responses. The metrics were also used to compare materials in terms of their biocompatibility. In addition to evaluating biocompatibility, beneficial elements identified by these approaches can be further investigated for their therapeutic value, since all the elements in the implant will be released due to implant degradation. The combined work makes it possible to screen materials in terms of their biocompatibility and provides fundamental insights that impact the metallurgical design of materials.

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Biomaterials Commons