Structural Characteristics and In Vitro Biodegradation of a Novel Zn-Li Alloy Prepared by Induction Melting and Hot Rolling
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Zinc shows great promise as a bioabsorbable metal; however, the low tensile strength of pure zinc limits its application for endovascular stent purposes. In this study, a new Zn-xLi alloy (with x = 2, 4, 6 at. pct) was prepared by induction melting in an argon atmosphere and processed through hot rolling. Structures of the formulated binary alloys were characterized by X-ray diffraction and optical microscopy. Mechanical testing showed that the incorporation of Li into Zn increased ultimate tensile strength from <120 MPa (pure Zn) to >560 MPa (x = 6 at. pct). In vitro corrosion behavior was evaluated by immersion tests in simulated body fluid. The Zn-2Li and Zn-4Li corrosion study demonstrated that corrosion rates and products resemble those observed for pure Zn in vivo, and in addition, the Zn-4Li alloy exhibits higher resistance to corrosion as compared to Zn-2Li. The findings herein encourage further exploration of Zn-Li systems for structural use in biomedical vascular support applications with the ultimate goal of simplifying stent procedures, thereby reducing stent-related complications.
KeywordsUltimate Tensile Strength Simulated Body Fluid Inductively Couple Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry Simulated Body Fluid Solution Hypoeutectic Alloy
U.S. National Institute of Health—National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (Grant #1R15HL129199-01) and U.S. National Institute of Health—National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (Grant #5R21 EB 019118-02) are acknowledged for funding this work. The authors thank Paul Fraley for tensile testing. The authors also thank the staff of the Applied Chemical and Morphological Analysis Laboratory for assisting with the sample preparation for electron imaging.
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