NUST MISIS Scientists Develop a Biodegradable Alloy for Bone Implants

NUST MISIS Scientists Develop a Biodegradable Alloy for Bone Implants

PR Newswire

MOSCOW, July 7, 2020

MOSCOW, July 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Scientists from NUST MISIS and the University of Western Australia presented an innovative bioresorbable alloy based on magnesium, gallium and zinc. The material can be used for the manufacture of temporary implants in the treatment of fractures and the restoration of surgically removed bone. The results of the study are published in the international scientific journal Journal of Magnesium and Alloys.

In modern bone implantology and cardiovascular surgery, biodegradable implants are increasingly being used. This helps minimize the inflammation of the surrounding tissue caused by the implant and eliminates the need for an implant removal operation. The benefits of using such implants are especially noticeable in pediatric orthopedics.

A team of material scientists from Russia and Australia has presented an innovative biodegradable alloy based on magnesium, gallium and zinc, which can be used for osteosynthesis in cases where additional treatment of diseases associated with the destruction and reduction of bone strength is required. Such implant can become a temporary "skeleton" safe for the patient to replace the damaged bone, and as the bone tissue grows, it will be "dissolved" by the body.

"We have chosen gallium as an alloying element due to its unique properties," said one of the co-authors of the work, the head of the Hybrid Nanostructured Materials Laboratory at NUST MISIS Alexander Komissarov. — Gallium is known as an "inhibitor" of bone resorption, it is effective in treating disorders associated with accelerated bone loss, including osteoporosis, hypercalcemia, Paget's disease, and multiple myeloma. Gallium is also involved in biochemical regeneration processes, increasing the thickness, strength and mineral content of the bone. Finally, it has an antibacterial effect, which is especially important in implantology."

A rather low rate of biocorrosion is also a valuable property of the developed alloy. An implant made of such an alloy does not undergo too rapid decomposition in the environment of the human body that is aggressive for metals and will retain its supporting functions throughout the healing process.

"We were able to experimentally establish that the Mg-4%Ga-4%Zn alloy after deformation processing using equal channel angular pressing has a unique profile of characteristics for use in bone implants due to the optimal combination of mechanical properties and corrosion rate," added Alexander Komissarov.

Currently, the team is completing a series of laboratory experiments and is preparing for the preclinical phase of research.


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