eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2017   Volume No 33 – pages 90-104

Title: In vivo and in vitro degradation comparison of pure Mg, Mg-10Gd and Mg-2Ag: a short term study

Authors: I Marco, A Myrissa, E Martinelli, F Feyerabend, R Willumeit-Römer, AM Weinberg, O Van der Biest

Address: Department of Materials Engineering, KU Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 44-bus 2450, 3001 Leuven, Belgium

E-mail: inigo.marco88 at

Key Words: Magnesium alloys, biodegradation, in vitro, in vivo, degradation.

Publication date: February 13th 2017

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to compare short term in vitro and in vivo biodegradation studies with low purity Mg (> 99.94 %), Mg-10Gd and Mg-2Ag designed for biodegradable implant applications. Three in vitro testing conditions were applied, using (i) phosphate buffered saline (PBS), (ii) Hank’s balanced salt solution (HBSS) and (iii) Dulbecco’s modified eagle medium (DMEM) in 5 % CO2 under sterile conditions. Gas evolution and mass loss (ML) were assessed, as well as the degradation layer, by elemental mapping and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In vivo, implantations were performed on male Sprague-Dawley rats evaluating both, gas cavity volume and implant volume reduction by micro-computed tomography (µCT), 7 d after implantation. Samples were produced by casting, solution heat treatment and extrusion in disc and pin shape for the in vitro and in vivo experiments, respectively. Results showed that when the processing of the Mg sample varied, differences were found not only in the alloy impurity content and the grain size, but also in the corrosion behaviour. An increase of Fe and Ni or a large grain size seemed to play a major role in the degradation process, while the influence of alloying elements, such as Gd and Ag, played a secondary role. Results also indicated that cell culture conditions induced degradation rates and degradation layer elemental composition comparable to in vivo conditions. These in vitro and in vivo degradation layers consisted of Mg hydroxide, Mg-Ca carbonate and Ca phosphate.

Article download: Pages 90-104 (PDF file)