Department of Biomedical Engineering
Due to the excellent biocompatibility of Zn and Zn-based alloys, researchers have shown great interest in developing biodegradable implants based on zinc. Furthermore, zinc is an essential component of many enzymes and proteins. The human body requires ~15 mg of Zn per day, and there is minimal concern for systemic toxicity from a small zinc-based cardiovascular implant, such as an arterial stent. However, biodegradable Zn-based implants have been shown to provoke local fibrous encapsulation reactions that may isolate the implant from its surrounding environment and interfere with implant function. The development of biodegradable implants made from Zn-Fe-Ca alloy was designed to overcome the problem of fibrous encapsulation. In a previous study made by the authors, the Zn-Fe-Ca system demonstrated a suitable corrosion rate that was higher than that of pure Zn and Zn-Fe alloy. The Zn-Fe-Ca system also showed adequate mechanical properties and a unique microstructure that contained a secondary Ca-reach phase. This has raised the promise that the tested alloy could serve as a biodegradable implant metal. The present study was conducted to further evaluate this promising Zn alloy. Here, we assessed the material’s corrosion performance in terms of cyclic potentiodynamic polarization analysis and stress corrosion behavior in terms of slow strain rate testing (SSRT). We also assessed the ability of cells to survive on the alloy surface by direct cell culture test. The results indicate that the alloy develops pitting corrosion, but not stress corrosion under phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and air environment. The direct cell viability test demonstrates the successful adherence and growth of cells on the alloy surface.
Stress Corrosion Analysis and Direct Cell Viability of Biodegradable Zn-Fe-Ca Alloy in In-Vitro Conditions.
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