In vivo assessment of biodegradable magnesium alloy ureteral stents in a pig model


Today, ureteral stent technology is making progress towards the reduction of complications and patient discomfort. Therefore, magnesium alloys have become excellent candidate materials for manufacturing ureteral stents due to their biodegradability and antibacterial activity. Built on our previous work on biodegradable magnesium alloys, this article reports a semisolid rheo-formed magnesium implant that displays degradability and biocompatibility in vivo, and feasibility as ureteral stents in a pig model. Refined non-dendritic microstructure was observed in the rheo-formed alloy, whose grain size and shape factor were ca. 25.2 μm and ca. 1.56 respectively. Neither post-interventional inflammation nor pathological changes were observed in the urinary system during the implantation period of 14 weeks, and the degradation profile (14 weeks) meets the common requirement for the indwelling time of ureteral stents (8 to 16 weeks). Furthermore, histopathological observation and urinalysis results confirmed that the alloy had significantly higher antibacterial activity than the medical-grade stainless steel control. To our knowledge, this is the first in vivo study of biodegradable magnesium alloy as urinary implants in large animal models. Our results demonstrate that magnesium alloys may be a reasonable option for manufacturing biodegradable ureteral stents.
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