Author(s): Liu B, Zheng YF
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Abstract Pure iron was determined to be a valid candidate material for biodegradable metallic stents in recent animal tests; however, a much faster degradation rate in physiological environments was desired. C, Mn, Si, P, S, B, Cr, Ni, Pb, Mo, Al, Ti, Cu, Co, V and W are common alloying elements in industrial steels, with Cr, Ni, Mo, Cu, Ti, V and Si being acknowledged as beneficial in enhancing the corrosion resistance of iron. The purpose of the present work (using Fe-X binary alloy models) is to explore the effect of the remaining alloying elements (Mn, Co, Al, W, B, C and S) and one detrimental impurity element Sn on the biodegradability and biocompatibility of pure iron by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, metallographic observation, tensile testing, microhardness testing, electrochemical testing, static (for 6 months) and dynamic (for 1 month with various dissolved oxygen concentrations) immersion testing, cytotoxicity testing, hemolysis and platelet adhesion testing. The results showed that the addition of all alloying elements except for Sn improved the mechanical properties of iron after rolling. Localized corrosion of Fe-X binary alloys was observed in both static and dynamic immersion tests. Except for the Fe-Mn alloy, which showed a significant decrease in corrosion rate, the other Fe-X binary alloy corrosion rates were close to that of pure iron. It was found that compared with pure iron all Fe-X binary alloys decreased the viability of the L929 cell line, none of experimental alloying elements significantly reduced the viability of vascular smooth muscle cells and all the elements except for Mn increased the viability of the ECV304 cell line. The hemolysis percentage of all Fe-X binary alloy models were less than 5\%, and no sign of thrombogenicity was observed. In vitro corrosion and the biological behavior of these Fe-X binary alloys are discussed and a corresponding mechanism of corrosion of Fe-X binary alloys in Hank's solution proposed. As a concluding remark, Co, W, C and S are recommended as alloying elements for biodegradable iron-based biomaterials. Copyright © 2010 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Acta Biomater
and referenced in Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials