Assessing the microstructure and in vitro degradation behavior of Mg-xGd screw implants using µCT


Biodegradable implants are taking an increasingly important role in the area of orthopedic implants with the aim to replace permanent implants for temporary bone healing applications. During the implant preparation process, the material's surface and microstructure are being changed by stresses induced by machining. Hence degradable metal implants need to be fully characterized in terms of the influence of machining on the resulting microstructure and corrosion performance. In this study, micro-computed tomography (µCT) is used for the quantification of the degradation rate of biodegradable implants. To our best knowledge, for the first time quantitative measures are introduced to describe the degradation homogeneity in 3D. This information enables a prediction in terms of implant stability during the degradation in the body. Two magnesium gadolinium alloys, Mg-5Gd and Mg-10Gd (all alloy compositions are given in weight% unless otherwise stated), in the shape of M2 headless screws have been investigated for their microstructure and their degradation performance up to 56 days. During the microstructure investigations particular attention was paid to the localized deformation of the alloys, due to the machining process. In vitro immersion testing was performed to assess the degradation performance quantified by subsequent weight loss and volume loss (using µCT) measurements. Although differences were observed in the degree of screw's near surface microstructure being influenced from machining, the degradation rates of both materials appeared to be suitable for application in orthopedic implants. From the degradation homogeneity point of view no obvious contrast was detected between both alloys. However, the higher degradation depth ratios between the crests and roots of Mg-5Gd ratios may indicated a less homogeneous degradation of the screws of these alloys on contract to the ones made of Mg-10Gd alloys. Due to its lower degradation rates, its more homogeneous microstructure, its weaker texture and better degradation performance extruded Mg-10Gd emerged more suitable as implant material than Mg-5Gd.
QR Code: Link to publication