Mg and its alloys for biomedical applications: Exploring corrosion and its interplay with mechanical failure
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionMetals. 2017, 7 (7), 252. 10.3390/met7070252
The future of biomaterial design will rely on temporary implant materials that degrade while tissues grow, releasing no toxic species during degradation and no residue after full regeneration of the targeted anatomic site. In this aspect, Mg and its alloys are receiving increasing attention because they allow both mechanical strength and biodegradability. Yet their use as biomedical implants is limited due to their poor corrosion resistance and the consequential mechanical integrity problems leading to corrosion assisted cracking. This review provides the reader with an overview of current biomaterials, their stringent mechanical and chemical requirements and the potential of Mg alloys to fulfil them. We provide insight into corrosion mechanisms of Mg and its alloys, the fundamentals and established models behind stress corrosion cracking and corrosion fatigue. We explain Mgs unique negative differential effect and approaches to describe it. Finally, we go into depth on corrosion improvements, reviewing literature on high purity Mg, on the effect of alloying elements and their tolerance levels, as well as research on surface treatments that allow to tune degradation kinetics. Bridging fundamentals aspects with current research activities in the field, this review intends to give a substantial overview for all interested readers; potential and current researchers and practitioners of the future not yet familiar with this promising material.