Structural characteristics and in vitro biodegradatation of a novel ZnLi alloy prepared by induction melting and hot rolling

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Department of Biomedical Engineering; Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Zinc shows great promise as a bioabsorbable metal; however, the low tensile strength of pure zinc limits its application for endovascular stent purposes. In this study, a new Zn-xLi alloy (with x = 2, 4, 6 at. pct) was prepared by induction melting in an argon atmosphere and processed through hot rolling. Structures of the formulated binary alloys were characterized by X-ray diffraction and optical microscopy. Mechanical testing showed that the incorporation of Li into Zn increased ultimate tensile strength from <120 MPa (pure Zn) to >560 MPa (x = 6 at. pct). In vitro corrosion behavior was evaluated by immersion tests in simulated body fluid. The Zn-2Li and Zn-4Li corrosion study demonstrated that corrosion rates and products resemble those observed for pure Zn in vivo, and in addition, the Zn-4Li alloy exhibits higher resistance to corrosion as compared to Zn-2Li. The findings herein encourage further exploration of Zn-Li systems for structural use in biomedical vascular support applications with the ultimate goal of simplifying stent procedures, thereby reducing stent-related complications.

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© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International 2016. Publisher's version of record:

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Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A