Novel Bioresorbable Alloy Could Lead to Temporary Implants
Implants made of a material that minimizes inflammation and does not need to be removed after healing could save patients from a lot of unnecessary pain and risk.
Material scientists from Russia’s National University of Science and Technology (NUST) MISIS in Moscow and the University of Western Australia in Perth published their findings in the Journal of Magnesium and Alloys.
In the article, “Gallium-containing magnesium alloy for potential use as temporary implants in osteosynthesis,” the team describes several alloys that they tested. The composition of their chosen alloy is mostly magnesium with 4% by weight of each gallium and zinc.
Head of Hybrid Nanostructured Materials Laboratory at NUST MISIS and co-author of the publication, Alexander Komissarov, Ph.D., said “We have chosen gallium as an alloying element due to its unique properties.” Gallium typically inhibits bone resorption and is often used to treat disorders due to accelerated bone loss. The element also plays a role in the bone regeneration process leading to increased thickness, strength, and mineral content.
Finally, it also has antibacterial properties. The alloy decomposes slowly with little biocorrosion and “has a unique profile of characteristics for use in bone implants due to the optimal combination of mechanical properties and corrosion rate,” concluded Komissarov.
Magnesium alloys have been studied for some time for use as resorbable medical devices. The first commercially available magnesium alloy approved for medical implants is known as Magnezix® and made by Germany-based Syntellix AG. Magnezix contains zinc and calculum, in addition to magnesium and is used to make pins and screws for orthopedic applications.