In vitro and in vivo studies of Mg-30Sc alloys with different phase structure for potential usage within bone

Jianing Liu, Yulin Lin, Dong Bian, Ming Wang, Zefeng Lin, Xiao Chu, Wenting Li, Yang Liu, Zhenquan Shen, Yinong Liu, Yunxiang Tong, Zhigang Xu, Yu Zhang, Yufeng Zheng

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    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Proper alloying magnesium with element scandium (Sc) could transform its microstructure from α phase with hexagonal closed-packed (hcp) structure into β phase with body-cubic centered (bcc) structure. In the present work, the Mg-30 wt% Sc alloy with single α phase, dual phases (α + β) or β phase microstructure were developed by altering the heat-treatment routines and their suitability for usage within bone was comprehensively investigated. The β phased Mg-30 wt% Sc alloy showed the best mechanical performance with ultimate compressive strength of 603 ± 39 MPa and compressive strain of 31 ± 3%. In vitro degradation test showed that element scandium could effectively incorporate into the surface corrosion product layer, form a double-layered structure, and further protect the alloy matrix. No cytotoxic effect was observed for both single α phased and β phased Mg-30 wt% Sc alloys on MC3T3 cell line. Moreover, the β phased Mg-30 wt%Sc alloy displayed acceptable corrosion resistance in vivo (0.06 mm y −1 ) and maintained mechanical integrity up to 24 weeks. The degradation process did not significantly influence the hematology indexes of inflammation, hepatic or renal functions. The bone-implant contact ratio of 75 ± 10% after 24 weeks implied satisfactory integration between β phased Mg-30 wt%Sc alloy and the surrounding bone. These findings indicate a potential usage of the bcc-structured Mg-Sc alloy within bone and might provide a new strategy for future biomedical magnesium alloy design. Statement of Significance: Scandium is the only rare earth element that can transform the matrix of magnesium alloy into bcc structure, and Mg-30 wt%Sc alloy had been recently reported to exhibit shape memory effect. The aim of the present work is to study the feasibility of Mg-30 wt%Sc alloy with different constitutional phases (single α phase, single β phase or dual phases (α + β)) as biodegradable orthopedic implant by in vitro and in vivo testings. Our findings showed that β phased Mg-30 wt%Sc alloy which is of bcc structure exhibited improved strength and superior in vivo degradation performance (0.06 mm y −1 ). No cytotoxicity and systematic toxicity were shown for β phased Mg-30 wt%Sc alloy on MC3T3 cell model and rat organisms. Moreover, good osseointegration, limited hydrogen gas release and maintained mechanical integrity were observed after 24 weeks’ implantation into the rat femur bone.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages17
    JournalActa Biomaterialia
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Mar 2019

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