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Resorbable bone fixation alloys, forming, and post-fabrication treatments

Ibrahim, Hamdy; Esfahani, Sajedeh Nasr; Poorganji, Behrang; Dean, David; Elahinia, Mohammad

Metallic alloys have been introduced as biodegradable metals for various biomedical applications over the last decade owing to their gradual corrosion in the body, biocompatibility and superior strength compared to biodegradable polymers. Mg alloys possess advantageous properties that make them the most extensively studied biodegradable metallic material for orthopedic applications such as their low density, modulus of elasticity, close to that of the bone, and resorbability. Early resorption (i.e., less than 3 months) and relatively inadequate strength are the main challenges that hinder the use of Mg alloys for bone fixation applications. The development of resorbable Mg-based bone fixation hardware with superior mechanical and corrosion performance requires a thorough understanding of the physical and mechanical properties of Mg alloys. This paper discusses the characteristics of successful Mg-based skeletal fixation hardware and the possible ways to improve its properties using different methods such as mechanical and heat treatment processes. We also review the most recent work pertaining to Mg alloys and surface coatings. To this end, this paper covers (i) the properties and development of Mg alloys and coatings with an emphasis on the Mg-Zn-Ca-based alloys; (ii) Mg alloys fabrication techniques; and (iii) strategies toward achieving Mg-based, resorbable, skeletal fixation devices.

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