Publication details

Authors: Wu, J.; Lee, B.; Saha, P.; P, N. Kumta 
Title: A feasibility study of biodegradable magnesium-aluminum-zinc-calcium-manganese (AZXM) alloys for tracheal stent application 
Type: Journal Article 
Publisher: J Biomater Appl  
Year: 2019 
Volume: 33 
Start Page: 1080-1093 
End Page:  
DOI: 10.1177/0885328218824775 
Abstract: Airway obstruction conditions are relatively rarely observed in clinical settings but nevertheless, extremely challenging to handle, especially when observed in pediatric patients. Several surgical procedures, including tracheal resection, end-to-end tracheal anastomosis, and tracheoplasty, have been developed and practised of late, to treat airway obstruction. However, the clinical outcome is typically not satisfactory due to airway restenosis conditions that develop following surgery. Various types of stents are currently available for airway stenting ranging from non-degradable silicone tubes and bio-inert metallic stents (bare or coated with polymer matrix) to hybrid silicone tubes strengthened by metallic cores, but none of the stents provides the satisfactory long-term effectiveness. Therefore, there is a significant clinical need for a biodegradable airway stent that would maintain airway patency and totally degrade over time after meeting the desired objectives. The present study aims to investigate biodegradable magnesium-aluminum-zinc-calcium-manganese (AZXM) alloy as a potential tracheal stent. The new AZXM alloy was fabricated by partially replacing aliminum in commercial AZ31 alloy with calcium. The present study demonstrates that calcium preferentially segregates along the grain boundaries as intermetallic phases (Mg2Ca) and is homogeneously distributed in the magnesium matrix. The extruded AZXM alloy showed less pitting, higher corrosion resistance in Hank's Balanced Salt Solution (HBSS) compared to the as-cast and solution-treated AZXM alloys and exhibited optimized mechanical properties. In vitro cytotoxicity evaluation using human trachea epithelial cells demonstrated excellent cyto-compatibility of AZXM alloys compared to pure Mg and commercial AZ31 validated by a very preliminary rabbit in vivo tracheal model study. Preliminary results show that the approach to use biodegradable AZXM alloys as a tracheal stent is indeed promising, although further alloy processing is required to improve the ductility needed followed by a more exhaustive in vivo study to demonstrate full viability for stent applications.  
Keywords: *Magnesium alloy 
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