Iron and iron-based alloys for temporary cardiovascular applications
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- Francis, A., Yang, Y., Virtanen, S. et al. J Mater Sci: Mater Med (2015) 26: 138. doi:10.1007/s10856-015-5473-8
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In the last decade, biodegradable metals have emerged as a topic of interest for particular biomedical applications which require high strength to bulk ratio, including for cardiovascular stents. The advantages of biodegradable materials are related to the reduction of long term risks associated with the presence of permanent metal implants, e.g. chronic inflammation and in-stent restenosis. From a structural point of view, the analysis of the literature reveals that iron-based alloys used as temporary biodegradable stents have several advantages over Mg-based alloys in terms of ductility and strength. Efforts on the modification and tunability of iron-based alloys design and compositions have been mainly focused on controlling the degradation rate while retaining the mechanical integrity within a reasonable period. The early pre-clinical results of many iron-based alloys seem promising for future implants developments. This review discusses the available literature focusing mainly on: (i) Fe and Fe-based alloys design and fabrication techniques; (ii) in vitro and in vivo performance; (iii) cytotoxicity and cell viability tests.