Author(s): Li Z, Gu X, Lou S, Zheng Y
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Abstract Binary Mg-Ca alloys with various Ca contents were fabricated under different working conditions. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis and optical microscopy observations showed that Mg-xCa (x=1-3 wt\%) alloys were composed of two phases, alpha (Mg) and Mg2Ca. The results of tensile tests and in vitro corrosion tests indicated that the mechanical properties could be adjusted by controlling the Ca content and processing treatment. The yield strength (YS), ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and elongation decreased with increasing Ca content. The UTS and elongation of as-cast Mg-1Ca alloy (71.38+/-3.01 MPa and 1.87+/-0.14\%) were largely improved after hot rolling (166.7+/-3.01 MPa and 3+/-0.78\%) and hot extrusion (239.63+/-7.21 MPa and 10.63+/-0.64\%). The in vitro corrosion test in simulated body fluid (SBF) indicated that the microstructure and working history of Mg-xCa alloys strongly affected their corrosion behaviors. An increasing content of Mg2Ca phase led to a higher corrosion rate whereas hot rolling and hot extrusion could reduce it. The cytotoxicity evaluation using L-929 cells revealed that Mg-1Ca alloy did not induce toxicity to cells, and the viability of cells for Mg-1Ca alloy extraction medium was better than that of control. Moreover, Mg-1Ca alloy pins, with commercial pure Ti pins as control, were implanted into the left and right rabbit femoral shafts, respectively, and observed for 1, 2 and 3 months. High activity of osteoblast and osteocytes were observed around the Mg-1Ca alloy pins as shown by hematoxylin and eosin stained tissue sections. Radiographic examination revealed that the Mg-1Ca alloy pins gradually degraded in vivo within 90 days and the newly formed bone was clearly seen at month 3. Both the in vitro and in vivo corrosion suggested that a mixture of Mg(OH)2 and hydroxyapatite formed on the surface of Mg-1Ca alloy with the extension of immersion/implantation time. In addition, no significant difference (p>0.05) of serum magnesium was detected at different degradation stages. All these results revealed that Mg-1Ca alloy had the acceptable biocompatibility as a new kind of biodegradable implant material. Based on the above results, a solid alloy/liquid solution interface model was also proposed to interpret the biocorrosion process and the associated hydroxyapatite mineralization.
This article was published in Biomaterials
and referenced in Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials