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Corrosion products on biomedical magnesium alloy soaked in simulated body fluids

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2011

Yunchang Xin
Affiliation:
Advanced Materials Institute, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen Graduate School, Shenzhen 518055, China; and Department of Physics and Materials Science, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
Kaifu Huo
Affiliation:
Department of Physics and Materials Science, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China; and Hubei Province Key Laboratory of Refractories and Ceramics, College of Materials and Metallurgy, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430081, China
Tao Hu
Affiliation:
Department of Physics and Materials Science, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
Guoyi Tang
Affiliation:
Advanced Materials Institute, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen Graduate School, Shenzhen 518055, China
Paul K Chu
Affiliation:
Department of Physics and Materials Science, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
Corresponding
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Abstract

Magnesium alloys are potential materials in biodegradable hard tissue implants. Their degradation products in the physiological environment not only affect the degradation process but also influence the biological response of bone tissues. In the work reported here, the composition and structure of the corrosion product layer on AZ91 magnesium alloy soaked in a simulated physiological environment, namely simulated body fluids (SBFs), are systematically investigated using secondary electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), x-ray diffraction (XRD), and in situ monitoring of the corrosion morphology. Our results show that the corrosion product layer comprises mainly amorphous magnesium (calcium) phosphates, magnesium (calcium) carbonates, magnesium oxide/hydroxide, and aluminum oxide/hydroxide. The magnesium phosphates preferentially precipitate at obvious corrosion sites and are present uniformly in the corrosion product layer, whereas calcium phosphates nucleate at passive sites first and tend to accumulate at isolated and localized sites. According to the cross sectional views, the corrosion product layer possesses a uniform structure with thick regions several tens of micrometers as well as thin areas of several micrometers in some areas. Localized corrosion is the main reason for the nonuniform structure as indicated by the pan and cross-sectional views. The results provide valuable information on the cytotoxicity of magnesium alloys and a better understanding on the degradation mechanism of magnesium alloys in a physiological environment.

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Copyright © Materials Research Society 2009

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