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Controlling the Biodegradation of Magnesium Implants Through Nanostructured Calcium-Phosphate Coating

  • Author(s): Iskandar, Maria Emil
  • Advisor(s): Liu, Huinan
  • et al.
Abstract

Magnesium (Mg) alloys, a novel class of degradable, metallic biomaterials, have attracted growing interest as a promising alternative for medical implant and device applications due to their advantageous mechanical and biological properties. Moreover, Mg is biodegradable in the physiological environments. However, the major obstacle for Mg to be used as medical implants is its rapid degradation in physiological fluids. Therefore, the present key challenge lies in controlling Mg degradation rate in the physiological environment. The objective of this study was to develop a nanostructured-hydroxyapatite (nHA) coating on polished Mg implants to control the degradation and bone tissue integration of the implants.

The nHA coatings were deposited on Mg using the Spire's patented TPA process to moderate the aggressive degradation of Mg and to improve quick osteointegration between Mg and natural bone. Nanostructured-HA coatings mimic the nanostructure and chemistry of natural bone, which will provide a desirable environment for bone tissue regeneration. Surface morphology, element compositions, and crystal structures were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and x-ray diffractometry (XRD), respectively. SEM images of the deposited nHA-coating was analyzed using ImageJ's quantitative image analysis tool, to determine the nHA-coating particle size and thickness. The degradation of nHA-coated and non-coated Mg samples was investigated by incubating samples in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) and revised simulated body fluid (r-SBF), under standard cell culture conditions. To mimic the in vivo cell response in the physiological environment, rat bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC) were harvested and cultured with nHA-coated and non-coated polished Mg samples to determine cytocompatibilty.

The degradation results suggested that the nanocoatings positively mediated Mg degradation. It can therefore be concluded that nHA-coatings show promise for controlling the biodegradation of Mg-based orthopedic implants and devices. Cell studies indicated significantly improved BMSC adhesion on the surfaces of the nHA-coated and non-coated Mg samples, in comparison to the cells surrounding the Mg samples. These results indicated that the nHA-coated and non-coated Mg samples promote cell activity on the surface. However, cell experiments must be repeated on a larger number of samples with extensive short and long term cell studies, to achieve more verifiable results.

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