Publication details

Authors: Zhao, Daoli; Wang, Tingting; Nahan, Keaton; Guo, Xuefei; Zhang, Zhanping; Dong, Zhongyun; Chen, Shuna; Chou, Da-Tren; Hong, Daeho; Kumta, Prashant N.; Heineman, William R. 
Title: In vivo characterization of magnesium alloy biodegradation using electrochemical H2 monitoring, ICP-MS, and XPS 
Type: Journal Article 
Publisher: Acta Biomaterialia 
Year: 2017 
Volume: 50 
Start Page: 556 
End Page: 565 
DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2017.01.024 
Abstract: The effect of widely different corrosion rates of Mg alloys on four parameters of interest for in vivo characterization was evaluated: (1) the effectiveness of transdermal H2 measurements with an electrochemical sensor for noninvasively monitoring biodegradation compared to the standard techniques of in vivo X-ray imaging and weight loss measurement of explanted samples, (2) the chemical compositions of the corrosion layers of the explanted samples by XPS, (3) the effect on animal organs by histology, and (4) the accumulation of corrosion by-products in multiple organs by ICP-MS. The in vivo biodegradation of three magnesium alloys chosen for their widely varying corrosion rates  ZJ41 (fast), WKX41 (intermediate) and AZ31 (slow)  were evaluated in a subcutaneous implant mouse model. Measuring H2 with an electrochemical H2 sensor is a simple and effective method to monitor the biodegradation process in vivo by sensing H2 transdermally above magnesium alloys implanted subcutaneously in mice. The correlation of H2 levels and biodegradation rate measured by weight loss shows that this non-invasive method is fast, reliable and accurate. Analysis of the insoluble biodegradation products on the explanted alloys by XPS showed all of them to consist primarily of Mg(OH)2, MgO, MgCO3 and Mg3(PO4)2 with ZJ41 also having ZnO. The accumulation of magnesium and zinc were measured in 9 different organs by ICP-MS. Histological and ICP-MS studies reveal that there is no significant accumulation of magnesium in these organs for all three alloys; however, zinc accumulation in intestine, kidney and lung for the faster biodegrading alloy ZJ41 was observed. Although zinc accumulates in these three organs, no toxicity response was observed in the histological study. ICP-MS also shows higher levels of magnesium and zinc in the skull than in the other organs. Statement of significance Biodegradable devices based on magnesium and its alloys are promising because they gradually dissolve and thereby avoid the need for subsequent removal by surgery if complications arise. In vivo biodegradation rate is one of the crucial parameters for the development of these alloys. Promising alloys are first evaluated in vivo by being implanted subcutaneously in mice for 1 month. Here, we evaluated several magnesium alloys with widely varying corrosion rates in vivo using multiple characterization techniques. Since the alloys biodegrade by reacting with water forming H2 gas, we used a recently demonstrated, simple, fast and noninvasive method to monitor the biodegradation process by just pressing the tip of a H2 sensor against the skin above the implant. The analysis of 9 organs (intestine, kidney, spleen, lung, heart, liver, skin, brain and skull) for accumulation of Mg and Zn revealed no significant accumulation of magnesium in these organs. Zinc accumulation in intestine, kidney and lung was observed for the faster corroding implant ZJ41. The surfaces of explanted alloys were analyzed to determine the composition of the insoluble biodegradation products. The results suggest that these tested alloys are potential candidates for biodegradable implant applications. 
Keywords: Biodegradable implants, Magnesium alloys, Hydrogen, Hydrogen sensor, Zinc, Magnesium, Metallic trace