Publication details

Authors: Zhao, Daoli; Wang, Tingting; Kuhlmann, Julia; Dong, Zhongyun; Chen, Shuna; Joshi, Madhura; Salunke, Pravahan; Shanov, Vesselin N.; Hong, Daeho; Kumta, Prashant N.; Heineman, William R. 
Title: In vivo monitoring the biodegradation of magnesium alloys with an electrochemical H2 sensor 
Type: Journal Article 
Publisher: Acta Biomaterialia 
Year: 2016 
Volume: 36 
Start Page: 361 
End Page: 368 
DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2016.03.039 
Abstract: Monitoring the biodegradation process of magnesium and its alloys in vivo is challenging. Currently, this process is monitored by micro-CT and X-ray imaging in vivo, which require large and costly instrumentation. Here we report a simple and effective methodology to monitor the biodegradation process in vivo by sensing H2 transdermally above a magnesium sample implanted subcutaneously in a mouse. An electrochemical H2 microsensor was used to measure the biodegradation product H2 at the surface of the skin for two magnesium alloys (ZK40 and AZ31) and one high purity magnesium single crystal (Mg8H). The sensor was able to easily detect low levels of H2 (30400 ýM) permeating through the skin with a response time of about 30 s. H2 levels were correlated with the biodegradation rate as determined from weight loss measurements of the implants. This new method is noninvasive, fast and requires no major equipment. Statement of Significance Biomedical devices such as plates and screws used for broken bone repair are being developed out of biodegradable magnesium alloys that gradually dissolve when no longer needed. This avoids subsequent removal by surgery, which may be necessary if complications arise. A rapid, non-invasive means for monitoring the biodegradation process in vivo is needed for animal testing and point of care (POC) evaluation of patients. Here we report a novel, simple, fast, and noninvasive method to monitor the biodegradation of magnesium in vivo by measuring the biodegradation product H2 with an electrochemical H2 sensor. Since H2 rapidly permeates through biological tissue, measurements are made by simply pressing the sensor tip against the skin above the implant; the response is within 30 s. 
Keywords: Biodegradation, Magnesium alloys, Electrochemical sensor, Hydrogen sensor, Hydrogen, Gas cavity