AbstractBiodegradable metals are breaking the current paradigm in biomaterial science to develop only corrosion resistant metals. In particular, metals which consist of trace elements existing in the human body are promising candidates for temporary implant materials. These implants would be temporarily needed to provide mechanical support during the healing process of the injured or pathological tissue. Magnesium and its alloys have been investigated recently by many authors as a suitable biodegradable biomaterial. In this investigative review we would like to summarize the latest achievements and comment on the selection and use, test methods and the approaches to develop and produce magnesium alloys that are intended to perform clinically with an appropriate host response.